Reviewed by: Nicci Tait
In the spirit of made up words as band titles, Sam Chown of Zorch is here with his latest project Shmu. Riding the boundaries of lo-fi, chillwave, psychedelic and math rock, Chown has constructed an album like something out of a dreamscape. SHH! has a way of demanding focus but also allowing you to slip into some form of familiarity. Each song is arranged meticulously by utilizing the inventive sampling techniques that are so unique to this album. Sometimes the tracks grab your attention simply because of how jumpy they can be, but one can also fall into this repetitive cycle with the music (See Track 4, “I’ve Got Nothing to Show”) and you forget there’s music playing at all. I recognized some of the work on the drum kit is similar to the syncopation that Baths works into their music. All in all, it makes some very productive work time. A few of the tracks (Pictionary, 156) even dance along the lines of the lo-fi rock of bands like Yuck.
This album truly is like a train of thought. It’s fluid and continuous, but it’s also got a few wild twists and turns to it. Which is probably why it’s so hard to listen to at times. It’s like reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Autumn of the Patriarch less than it is like reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Patriarch sometimes has sentences that stretch entire page lengths as it follows a train of thought).
SHH! is a wild ride to listen to, but it’s worth the time. It’s experimental and sometimes downright weird, but the songwriting and arrangement are top priority. Try falling asleep with it sometime. I haven’t done it, but I’m curious what would actually happen.
Faves: 2, 6, 3, 9, 4
RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, Yuck, The Sunshine Factory, Slowdive