Album Reviews

CHAPPO – Moonwater

on June 13, 2012, 7:58am
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Let’s all take a step down off our corporation-hating high horses and admit something: Those damn Apple commercials have some pretty dope music (well, maybe with one exception). One of the newest recipients of the coveted “Apple bump” is Brooklyn’s CHAPPO, whose song “Come Home” appeared in a recent iPod Touch commercial. On the band’s debut full-length, Moonwater, CHAPPO explore the simple splendor of youth through their wide-eyed storytelling and space-y instrumentation, sounding like MGMT coming down off a great acid trip.

The folks in Apple’s music licensing department definitely knew what they were doing when they picked “Come Home”, as it’s easily the strongest track Moonwater has to offer. We tour frontman Alex Chappo’s personal fantasyland as he sings, “Under the covers, I make a tent/ It’s my world that I invent.” He’s yearning for someone, but not in the typical rock ‘n’ roll man-wants-woman way. It’s more like how a 12-year-old waits for his best friend to return home from sleepaway camp. Major key power chords dripping with syrupy-sweet punk reflect this sense of naivete and all but drag your finger towards the replay button.

In truth, CHAPPO sound best when they’re hidden beneath their fortress of pillows and sheets. It’s a colorful dreamscape inhabited by tracks like “5-0”, which romps like The Black Keys on bubblegum, and serves as a homage to being a young kid running from the cops (think Superbad, not Boyz in the Hood). On album opener “What Are You Kids On?”,  you can practically smell the stale weed smoke clinging to the carpet and hear the party from the night before.

It’s when their imagination gets the best of them that things go awry. “Native Savage” is a peyote-fueled vision quest à la Oliver Stone’s Jim Morrison, complete with about three whole minutes of full on Native American chanting. It’s a tough pill to swallow when surrounded by so many instantly delectable jams. When CHAPPO lay off the harder stuff, Moonwater can be downright blissful. Yet even when they do trip off the deep end, they never manage to fall too far from home.

Essential Tracks: “Come Home”, “5-0″, and “Hell No”

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