Courtesy of Chronophage
The bright red tomato on Chronophage’s self-titled disc is totally compelling, but pointless. The high-contrast foundational fruit matches the music – splashing between the romantic, brash iconography of ’70s power-pop and the dark, structural oddities of ’80s post-punk. After two locally incubated past records, the latest born from the group is a rare alloy of genuinely inviting alternative.
The 10 songs Time-consuming is out this Friday – the band’s first on Post Present Medium, launched by No Age’s Dean Allen Spunt, and UK label Bruit Direct Disques. The disc, filled with poetic lyrics worthy of medieval scrolls, was reunited at Austin’s Wire Recording last June. The quartet worked with producer Craig Ross, known for his studio collaborations with Texas giants like Patty Griffin and Daniel Johnston.
The connection of offbeat melodic purveyors was made by Chronophage drummer Adam Jones, also of Deep Time and recently touring with Juan Wauters. The the Chronicle emailed during quick inquiries for the rest of the band: bassist Sarah Beames and guitarist Parker Allen, who share sweet-salty vocal stunts, and keyboardist Casey Allen.
The latest Austin-based Chronophage-r, Allen also participates in the Heaven sound projects (Googleable by the latest EP starless midnight) and Flower City – with debut songs on the way via local label Esos Malditos Punks. The up-and-coming producer recently worked with caustic garage troupe Hotmom and hopes to record more Austin acts.
Austin Chronicle: How was the recording experience?
Sarah Bemes: Super pro… moderately intimidating for me! There was a lot of mutual excitement in the room. [Engineer Stuart Sullivan] and Craig were both very guiding, letting us do our thing too. Craig has also worked extensively with us in his home studio.
Parker Allen: [It] It’s always a privilege to be in a real studio, because we usually record at home or with friends. However, I think we were there [for] three days, and two of the three we didn’t eat for some reason??? Kind of a basic error, like, we’ve got no drinking or no drugs in the studio, but no eating?
THAT: The album balances depressed/apocalyptic feelings with passion/hope. How do you approach writing about current realities?
Pennsylvania: Personally, I tend to spend a lot of mental time in a place where I’m in love and the world ends. The end of the world is funny, because it’s a real thing that’s also so fictional and mythologized. It becomes difficult to distinguish dreams from reality, but everyone’s world ends with death. I don’t believe in any particular meaning of the persistence of matter or the survival of consciousness after death, [but] I believe in the existence and supernatural abilities of love.
THAT: Since the last LP Th’pig’kiss’dhave any of you moved?
Pennsylvania: I moved to New York [for] the Sonic Arts MFA program at Brooklyn College…and playing in bands here and going to shows and just drinking lots of wine and cooking and listening to records.
SB: I live in South Florida and am working on a degree in nursing. I frequented a hall [Miami], Center for Subtropical Affairs, and was thrilled when Leya performed there a few months ago. I swim in the ocean a lot and miss music rehearsals!
THAT: Casey, what inspired your keyboard parts? I like more delicate moments like “Spirit Armor”.
Casey Allen: Definitely the remedy. Having a sound that goes in and out with the guitar is something we’ve always wanted, and with this record we finally got to see that, with the keyboards supporting the other aspects of the band. [to] provide a more atmospheric and full sound.