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THE CHAP – Proper Rock (Lo Recordings)

Posted: August 26th, 2008, by Stuart Fowkes

It’s a rare band indeed that can play the irony card without coming across as just plain irritating, and sadly for them, The Chap fall well short of that dubious gold standard. This latest 7”, out this week, offers up two examples of the kind of music that it’s impossible to enjoy without the application of a liberal dose of irony to one’s own critical faculties to mask all the self-congratulatory whimsy. It’s crammed to the gills with falsetto-ridden, over-enunciated globs of lyrical smugness that nudge you in the ribs, raise their eyebrows and demand that you acknowledge how clever they’ve just been. ‘Massive tunes, put them on your ‘pod, Rod / Proper songs about girls and clubbing’ – tailor-made drivel for new media tools to jig themselves into a froth over.

It’s a shame, really, because when they put their foot down towards the end, drop the frolicsome archness for a few seconds, there’s actually some deft guitar work on display here, with some neat high-end figures building over an undercarriage of bubbling synth tones. That doesn’t, however, prevent this from being a really annoying piece of music that I want nothing more to do with.

The B-side does little to improve my mood – a half-arsed, teeth-grindingly pointless cover of Tina Turner’s ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’, in which the singer can’t hold his deadpan spoken-word drawl together and bursts into peals of laughter at how clever it all is. It’s a sad day when you’re aching for the proper rock delivery that only Tina Turner can provide.

The Chap website

Stuart Fowkes

Stuart is possibly one of the tallest people you have ever seen. He towers above your puny skyscrapers like Rodan on steroids, his blonde spikes puncturing the atmosphe re like crazed, gelled knives. In real life he is part of the Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element pop outfit, and writes for other websites as well as this one - the cheeky blighter. He favours the noisier end of the musical spectrum, with a fervour which would seem to indicate a dodgy heavy metal past.


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