Weekly Music Roundup
I’ve been on something of a kick for the past week, binging through the first three albums by The Chameleons, and it has been great. Very few bands have released a 3-album run as good as The Chameleons run during the mid eighties: 1983’s Script of the Bridge, 1985’s What Does Anything Mean? Basically, and 1986’s Strange Times.
The Chameleons never managed to find the pop-culture success or popularity of many of their post-punk contemporaries. Bands like Joy Division, The Smiths and The Cure penetrated the mainstream consciousness, achieving a name-brand recognition and persistent level of radio airplay that seemed out of the question for The Chameleons for most of the intervening 3 decades. But in the last 10 years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the band, largely fostered by online music communities giving several “cult” post-punk bands a chance to reach much larger audiences. This led Blue Apple Records to remaster and re-release their albums between 2009 and 2012.
Last year, I decided to treat myself and purchased their remastered discography: I find myself coming back to it again and again, and it just seems to get better.
- The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge - This was my first Chameleons album, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. If you’ve been exposed to other English post-punk bands, this will probably be the album with the most familiar sound in their discography. Favorite track: Here Today
- The Chameleons - What Does Anything Mean? Basically - This album is a grower. I’d start with the other two, but don’t think that means it doesn’t pack a powerful punch. I wasn’t sure about it on the first listen, but by the second, it had won me over. Favorite tracks: In Shreds
- The Chameleons - Strange Times - Strange Times is, by quite a large margin, my favorite post-punk album. If you haven’t heard of The Chameleons (or any post-punk in general), I’d start here. Favorite Track: Soul in Isolation
Some other albums I’ve been listening to this week:
- Deru - 1979 - A perfect piece of melancholy, tailored for a walk on a rainy fall evening. Favorite track: Pathologically Bored
- Duster - Contemporary Movement - Not Duster’s most famous or acclaimed album, but the first album where Jason Albertini was playing a full-role in song-writing. Unfortunately, this was also the last album before the band began an extended hiatus, lasting nearly 20 years. Contemporary Movement manages to preserve the magic of Stratosphere, while remaining very much its own beast. Favorite track: Get The Dutch
- High Command - Beyond the Wall of Desolation - This album rules. Favorite track: Impaled Upon the Gates