Her

The Chimeras

Independent release, 2010

http://www.thechimeras.com/

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/28/2010

So what do Colleen, Abra, Lila, Gladys, Lorraine, Madeline, Marlene, Audrey, Darla, Jasmine, Simone, Leigh, and Britney have in common? They are the names of the songs contained on The Chimeras new album release titled Her.

A chimera is a word from Greek mythology. It is a fire breathing she-monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. The present day Chimeras met at Temple University in Philadelphia and consists of bassist/vocalist Adam Cooper, guitarist/ vocalist Matt Turnbull, guitarist/vocalist Dan Ferry, and drummer Shim Perlman. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Her is their second full-length release and it mimics their first by following a theme. Their 2007 debut, Party Of God, was based on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as told by stories from newspapers and television news.

Now, they have dedicated an albums worth of material to women: real, imagined, fantasized, and archetypal. Gladys is a real living and breathing woman who works at a Wendy’s restaurant that the band frequents. Lorraine was inspired by Gloria Swanson’s character in the film Sunset Boulevard, while Abra is a character in East Of Eden. The Chimeras has raided books, movies, and the lives of friends to find their material, which adds up to a unique listen.

Their sound falls into the alternative rock category, complete with jangling guitars. The musicianship is more than competent, but it is the witty and well-constructed lyrics that stand out. The major problem is the production, which does not do the material justice. It sounds a little washed out and does not have a complete clarity. The band members have stated their goal at first was to be more of a basement recording band, and they mention a reel-to-reel tape recording. Their music is sophisticated enough that they need to find a way to do a better job in the recording studio.

The Chimeras are a work in progress, but they have invented a unique way of assembling an album. I hope they explore other themes in the future as they are an interesting group and seem to have a lot of potential.

Rating: B-

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