Chandler Travis Philharmonic – Waving Kissyhead vol 2 & 1 (Iddy Biddy) review
It’s 2018. David Bowie, Prince and Tom Petty are dead. Most popular music is boring, homogenized corporate crap or pretentious, self-absorbed music that is purposely un-technical. So, here comes the Chandler Travis Philharmonic to save the day. Well, probably not. I mean, they’re just one band. But, they’re a pretty damn good band. Despite their moniker, the band has a lot more to do with the sloppy tightness of the Replacements than that community orchestra that you’re aunt that never married has season tickets to.
Chandler Travis himself is a pretty crazy cat. Besides having the distinct pleasure of opening numerous gigs for the late, great George Carlin, he’s actually got a great rock n’ roll voice, which is on full display on their latest bit of ear candy, Waving Kissyhead vol 2 & 1 (and no, that’s not a misprint).
Things get underway with the garage rock of “You Got Me Started,” which features big drums, horns and a psychotic keyboard solo. Things immediately shift for the wino optimism of “Maybe This is Our Year,” which manages to sneak in the lyric “that will be okie doke.”
“By the Way” and “Going Back to Work Tomorrow” show that, if Travis chose, he could pursue the career of Power Pop God and do quite well for himself.
I fucking love “Untitled,” because it totally makes fun of the all-too serious songwriters that leave their songs without an actual title.
Oh, there’s still plenty of left-field material here. Like the stream of consciousness jazz of “Bobby Brown,” where the ill-fated singers name is repeated over and over, for seemingly no reason at all.
“E” is a fantastically funny primal rocker that pokes at the beginnings of the guitar chord, while “Your Wife and Your Mother” brings up some uncomfortable questions – none of which is likely to make many women happy.
Because it’s under the Chandler Travis Philharmonic title, that means a heavy dose of Bourbon Street (or just bourbon) soaked horn section, that gives many of the tracks a distinctly Dixieland feel (Dixieland = great drinking music). But, don’t let that scare you uncultured heathens away – this is still really a rock n’ roll record disguised as a, um, well, I’m not sure what to call it. So, it’s close enough for rock n’ roll. —Tony Peters