I can't even hear the name CHAPPO
without being immediately transported back to 2012. My boss at the time was a fan of the band, and they were indicative of the sort of exciting up-and-coming acts that I was discovering every day in my first stretch living in NYC. There's the famous scene
(I would argue that it's the essential scene) in Fear In Loathing in Las Vegas
where Hunter S. Thompson talks about that indescribable feeling of being there, in San Francisco, in the 1960s at the height of the psychedelic era. That's how I felt about being in NYC, in the heart of the indie music scene. And it's how I still feel. Thompson's "high water mark" for the hippie movement hasn't hit me yet as a music writer.
And so it feels...right that CHAPPO would release a new record so soon after my return to the city that marked my baptism into the scene. We have a stream of CHAPPO's latest record, Future Former Self
, and it is a triumph. A mixture of 70s glam rock, 60s psychedelia, and modern garage revivalism, CHAPPO have dropped one of the best straight-out rock records of the year.
From tracks like "Mad Magic" to "Hang On," CHAPPO have refined the loose dance-rock energy of their first record into laser-precise arena ready psych-rock. The guitars jangle, Phil Spector walls of noise wash over you, and the vocals float into the aether (but they float with an urgent purpose). CHAPPO have evolved past their East Village boho roots into a rock band that is genuinely of the moment, and I couldn't be happier to bear witness to this transformation.