These songs explore new territories of sonic expression—both psychedelic and punk–while still retaining our exploration of dream worlds and the cinematic. We interrogate the same subject matter: slacker life, and doing a big nothing. Now, our gaze has been shifted inward towards the psychic. It’s all very psycho-spiritual.
That’s what Winston Scarlett, Chimes’ bassist and man behind the Brooklyn DIY music organization Slackgaze, had to say about the two new tracks from the band’s forthcoming release, Psychic Slack. Today, Chimes come as a reaction to the wishy washy dreampop and nü-shoegaze polish from whence the Brooklyn show organization got its name. Chimes—comprised of Jesse Benicaso, Linda Chen, Sarah Peterson and Winston—now favor the psychedelic over the glossy.
“Total Sunflower” keeps the cavernous drone going at a driving clip, bending strings as Jesse’s voice repeats the nihilistic mantra “nothing ever matters.” The second track, “Rinso”, presents downtempo circling delay and doomy vocals drenched in 90’s panache—a Slackgaze calling card still true of this evolved off-shoot. Both tracks seem to use haunting effects to sustain their at times dissonant melody.
Chimes, deep down, is rock and rock. Keeping it relatively simple, they let the floating tension between immediate bass and delayed guitar work its magic on the listener. As Winston explained, “We’re stretching our imaginations in how to communicate our big nothing…our anxiety of inevitably ‘wiping out’.” Chimes’ instrumental jams are intended to make space for the contemplation…of nothing. It’s an intent that I can’t help but compare to Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. Certainly a haunting literary counterpart to Chimes’ exploration into unknown dimensions, darkness and general anxiety-producing uncertainty.