Run Chico Run

By Peter Hemminger

There aren’t many truly unique bands out there. That alone is enough to recommend Run Chico Run. Their blend of lo-fi pop, keyboard rock and psychedelia on Shashbo, among myriad other influences, doesn’t have any easy reference point. “Lifestyles of the Living Dead” mixes creepy lyrics about swaying corpses with a shuffling drums and lounge keyboards, while “Blue Bikes” floats like a combination of early Pink Floyd and a children’s song.

Exclaim magazine compares them to Yes, Costello and the Beatles in a single sentence, a sound that’s difficult to conceive properly and still not accurate. The one thing to take away from those comparisons is all those bands were forward thinking, making music unlike anything heard before, while still remaining highly accessible. The sound Run Chico Run has created possesses that tremendous flexibility, and clearly they aren’t wanting for ways to explore it. Having a broadly defined sound allows them to experiment, but only the tracks with a strong enough pop bent are here on the album to ensure things don’t get overly challenging for no good reason.

Shashbo isn’t a huge departure from Run Chico Run’s previous nonsensically titled releases. It doesn’t need to be. It’s the advantage of having a unique sound’s being able to repeat it from album to album without it wearing out. As long as the songwriting continues to advance like it has, Run Chico Run has an incredibly bright future ahead of them.

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