US - New York - Full Moon 237 - 12/25/15
Glassnote Records / Caroline Int.
Tacoma (WA) native Brad Oberhofer relocated to NYC some years ago, where he set up his base in Brooklyn. After putting out a small handful of 7" singles he landed a record deal with the
Glassnote label for his project. The acclaimed debut album Time Capsules II was launched some three years ago, and a couple of months ago the colourful follow-up, Chronovision
was released. In glorious Chronovision! It is probably in Technicolor as well...
Brad has turned his one-man band into a quartet, fronted by himself as the song writing singer, backed by (after some line-up changes) Dylan Treleven (bass), Ben "Weatherman" Roth (guitar),
and Zoe Brecher (drums). Chronovision stands out as an indeed playful album. It's sparkling, catchy and whimsical platter from a mind/band inspired by 'Mother Nature, Father Time'
according to Oberhofer's Facebook page. 'Nothing is personal' the Facebook site states (under 'Personal information'). My guess is that all is personal, as Chronovision unveils
a powerful collection of colourful pop songs. Oberhofer play/perform new wave pop, or psych-pop with a snap. This is whip-smart pop music, mind you. Oberhofer sounds like a fu*ked-up mixture
of Animal Collective, Foxygen, Supergrass and Weezer, but all the time Brad & co drift in numerous directions. In every possible direction or way you can ever imagine.
From the short, opening intro-instrumental title track Oberhofer (and Chronovision) take off to jump around like a playful kitten. "Nevena" is a disco-orchestral breezy pop song,
followed by the super-cool and bouncy "Together/Never" which is one of the highlights of Chronovision. Brad almost swirls into the world of yodelling (!) but he lands his pop-vessel
with style. The catchy "Memory Remains" is another cool and catchy track, which makes me think The Cure because of Oberhofer's vocals. Chronovision rolls on bringing several overly
catchy songs and the album as a whole is a happy pop feast. Well, the lyrics (or the music) are not all about happiness: 'Memories can be inspiring
or stifling, alluring or ugly, wistful, joyous or flat. But what if they all come rushing back in a moment of quiet? You're in headphones, zoned out, and your entire life flashes before your
eyes, floods your ears, sounds like a screaming orchestra, feels like a bounding sack of lead, and looks like an unholy filmic mashup of David Cronenberg and Ken Burns. This is "chronovision,"
a high-concentration dose of pure memory.' Pure intensity, right?
The piano driven "Sea of Dreams" is a calmer moment during an album bubbling with energy and spark. "White Horse, Black River" is another of the energy pills on the album. "Ballroom Floor"
is another goody. The pleasant "Sun Halo" can be filed among the calm and comforting tracks. Along with the closing "Listen to Everyone". Chronovision quite easily climbs into my Top
Ten list album of the year. To quote Glassnote describing Chronovision being 'amped psych-pop with orchestral flourish, New Wave flare, and
grungy fuzz'. Neat.
Copyright © 2015 Håvard Oppøyen