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Part Chimp - I Am Come

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Artist: Part Chimp

Album: I Am Come

Label: Monitor

Review date: Nov. 17, 2005

Nostalgia sounds better when it’s loud, so turn up Part Chimp’s I Am Come as loud as possible on your system and watch entropy take over. The cones of your speakers will split and tear; orange warning lights will glow behind them. Sound will cease eventually, but not until the most primal and blown-out ‘90s noise rock expels itself into the air. You may smell ozone, and maybe an electrical fire could ignite. Holy shit, you just fucked up your stereo. Haha, you’re a dummy.

The formula here isn't complicated: take the pent-up anus clench rock tension of Unwound and add Karp- or Cherubs-esque levels of distortion and volume to it and you end up with this Glaswegian quartet, bent on pushing the limits of amplification technology. They really bring nothing new to the table, even lifting out the one-note piano monotony of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” for their “Punishment Ride.” But what they do bring – a lumbering, imprecise knuckle-drag of very heavy, loud rock music with hooks – more than compensates for the walls they bust through like the Kool-Aid Man, the toilets they clog, the stains they leave on your couch, the windows they break. Also, they are sorry about making the neighbor’s kids cry. It was a Super Soaker, for chrissakes. They should have expected to get super-soaked. Kids are dummies.

This thing really is a feat of record engineering, or more likely a sign of what can be done today. Never once does the mix of this record get muddy or the tone of separate instruments blend into one another in such a way as to cancel the distinct sounds out. It’s clean as a whistle but mastered at an impossibly crunchy high volume, using distortion to its advantage without clipping or roll-off, much the same way as High Rise, Mainliner and the Psychic Paramount have achieved similar results, but with a more defined shape. Within the mix, overdubs of electronics and even more feedback and effects present themselves right atop the fracas. Undertones reveal themselves in the mix, braces of noise in between drum beats that really shouldn’t be there but would be dumb to remove. These guys aren’t dummies.

Compositionally, I Am Come works, for better or worse, as a blinding whole rather than as individual songs, building off themes that are presented in the bookending tracks “baKAHAtsu” and “ASHiTA No baKAHAtsu,” the band’s intro and outro wrestling themes. These two are instrumentals of single-minded heft and power, the latter blown out beyond all but the most basic tonal recognition. Part Chimp takes almost cheery, clean indie rock stances on “War Machine” and “Do you believe in waiting to die!” which are summarily demolished with reckless, fist-pumping abandon. Cliché, faux-evil lyrics like “I was born in a witches’ cauldron with you” make sense in this context; hell, they’re welcomed to a degree, and shouted to perilous effect, in constant battle with the size and scope of their instrumentation.

Part Chimp is dumb fun for those who like to ride the Wayback Machine but don’t want to root themselves in the past forever. If you can get stupid enough to enjoy it, it will welcome you with open arms, a six pack and a bong. If you were looking for erudite gratification, search elsewhere, and stop being such a dummy.

By Doug Mosurock

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