Friday, September 12, 2008
ALBUM OF THE DAY
Chavez - Better Days Will Haunt You, released 2006 (Matador)
This collection serves up every song Chavez ever wrote, both albums, b-sides, and unreleased tracks. A great collection for those who have the albums, and even better for those that don't. This 3 disc set (2 CDs, 1 DVD) is about the price of one album, and couldn't be more worth the price.
"Chavez projected an aura of a supergroup pulled from a number of world-conquering bands — Live Skull, Wider, Skunk, Bullet Lavolta, the house band on Into the Night with Rick Dees — that were, in fact, lucky to sell a couple thousand copies of a release and play before crowds numbering in the dozens. With the members' combined powers and a little luck (such as a contract with Matador instead of Grass), they scrapped their way to the top and didn't have to sell their souls or compromise their creativity in order to make it. At the height of the band's popularity, they sold out the Hollywood Bowl and were able to afford Reindeer Games' Donal Logue as a live sound engineer. They raised $83,000 for their inner-city youth organization, won over a talk show audience made entirely of middle-aged women, and — and! — according to Matador's Chris Lombardi and Gerard Cosloy, outsold every single one of their label mates (you thought it was Pavement or Chain Gang?) during their '90s reign. Matador must have assumed that everyone already had the two albums, the EP, and the debut 7", because each one of those releases went out of print at some point. It seemed to be a cruel joke, or maybe even a conspiracy of some sort. Better Days Will Haunt You contains the whole load, as well as a couple compilation appearances and an outtake. Everyone knew from experience back then that these songs contained just the right combination of crunching riffs, crashing waves of anthemic sound, abrupt changes, and honeyed falsetto come-ons and accusations to incite pregnancies and fistfights, but one unknown remained: given the rapid developments in rock & roll, would the songs stand the test of time? Despite the innumerable contrasts between guitar bands of the '90s and 2000s, it turns out that the songs have done exactly that. They sound brighter and bolder than before. When heard in one fell swoop, it should be more than apparent (unless you have a low tolerance for ambitious slacker bands that sound like they might've been raised on Squirrel Bait and Roth-era Van Halen) that Chavez was, at the very least, one of the most thrilling rock bands of their time." - Andy Kellman (allmusic.com)
Posted by Dan Goldin at 6:46 PM