Feed Me Jack’s only album worth exploring even 12 years since its release

In the midst of today’s ever growing musical world, it can be hard to find anything, sometimes people don’t even know where to begin. While this may not show you every song, album, or EP that you’d ever dream of hearing, let this inspire you to search and dive into the infinitely deep hole that is the modern music world.

Today’s piece comes from Santa Cruz, Calif., with a band named Feed Me Jack. The band’s members include Sven Gamsky, Robert Ross, JakeThornton and Glenn Carson. Their music style teeters on math rock, indie pop and more. Their first and only album Chumpfrey displays these styles flawlessly. Released digitally on Sept. 29, 2012, this album has stayed relatively unknown throughout most of the band’s life. 

To get into the music itself more, the band uses not only the conventional elements like guitar, bass and drums, but also some cello, clarinet and violin, giving Chumpfrey this refined, pleasing sound. The album opener “Rosies” hooks the listener in with digital sounds followed by clean, yet garage-sounding guitars. Almost every song feels like a roller coaster, having high points, silent moments, slow moments and fast movements, and it causes the listener to focus more on what’s happening in the music, cleverly getting the listener to pay attention. 

Another important thing to note is how the music flows, and this goes very briefly into math rock. The sudden stops and starts, atypical rhythm structures, and stylistic shifts, which specifically gives Feed Me Jack this multi-layered sound that captures the listeners attention and plays with their expectations of where the song is going to go.

Going song by song and skipping over “Rosies,” “Until Then” has this very jazzy feel with its drums, but also feels very inspired off of garage rock with its pacing at points. “Jelly the Queen” has this unique flow that I haven’t felt in many songs where it feels like the track is rolling up and down hills, with the instruments taking breaks at the top of hills before rolling down with their playing. “No One Does it Like You” is a very relaxed song, removing that overly garage-rock sound and just playing guitar with no amps. Going into “You Wake,” it immediately starts off fast and rhythmic, getting that garage/indie rock sound in, while still being math rock and taking its time. “Pirate Muse” Starts off with one of the most interesting guitar riffs I have ever heard, and parts of the song go into this slow, almost blues style, but has moments of its indie rock roots. “Promiscuity” has a very jumpy tone, bouncing along as the track goes, and taking some spoken word from the 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” which is presumably where the band got its name from. “Big Epic” as the name implies, starts out small, but slowly builds to this grand state. “Llsr Ciaak” is a song that mostly keeps low, and the song’s strange title from research has no defined meaning, so people have theorized it means Liar’s Creek or the name Lisa Clark. The final song on the album “Oars as Arms’ goes for an acoustic feel with violins, and while short, gives a good closer to the album.

Overall then, when looking at the album song by song, and all together, it’s easy to see how this hidden gem catches the attention of its listeners and takes them on a complex but enjoyable and catchy ride. I’ll be giving every album a score out of 10, and this album is more than deserving of a 9.5/10.

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