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Mega Breakfast

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The Chap 6/24/2008

Review

On "Proper Rock," one of Mega Breakfast's many deeply cheeky moments, the Chap sing about "proper songs about girls and clubbing," but that's the closest they come to such straightforward subject matter. Surgery, cloning, and world music are much more interesting song topics in the Chap's world, and more fitting for their "pop improv disco rock with strings" anyway. Their sound has gotten sleeker, slicker, and brighter with each album, and Mega Breakfast is some of their most electronic -- and danceable -- music. "They Have a Name" opens the album with a literal call to the dancefloor and one of the band's most insistently kinetic beats. "Caution Me" is even better, turning surreal non sequiturs like "come into my bathroom showroom" and "shred my document" into some of the strangest come-ons since Lick My Decals Off, Baby, as a four-on-the-floor beat gradually overtakes the song, propelling it to new levels of funky weirdness. The Chap's popcraft is also sharper and stranger than ever on Mega Breakfast; songs start out small, then build into precariously balanced, Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions that topple over in artfully unpredictable ways. "Carlos Walter Wendy Stanley"'s interlocking narratives are set off by dueling vocals, quick-shifting tempos, and a musical motif that pops up later on "Wuss Wuss." With all of this mischief and experimentation going on, it's not surprising that a few tracks on Mega Breakfast grate, at least initially: tracks such as "Take It in the Face" and "The Health of Nations" don't quite fire on all cylinders the way that the string-driven sci-fi narcissism of "Fun and Interesting" and "Ethnic Instrument"'s pseudo-exotic but genuinely catchy babble do. The Chap's songs often seem to have giant quotation marks around them, but their hyper-cleverness works far more often than it doesn't, especially when it's supported by all of the mercurial turns that make Mega Breakfast some of the band's most accomplished and widest-ranging music. ~ Heather Phares
Read More Read Less
  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 They Have a Name The Chap 2:24
  3. 2 Fun and Interesting The Chap 4:0
  4. 3 Caution Me The Chap 4:45
  5. 4 Carlos Walter Wendy Stanley The Chap 2:57
  6. 5 Surgery The Chap 3:13
  7. 6 Take It in the Face The Chap 3:6
  8. 7 Ethnic Instrument The Chap 3:9
  9. 8 Proper Rock The Chap 3:55
  10. 9 The Health of Nations The Chap 2:50
  11. 10 Wuss Wuss The Chap 4:13
  12. 11 I Saw Them The Chap 4:45

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