From their first full length LP, Chives starts the album off with a bang with the eclectic and frenetic, “Asteroid”.
This week, we’re continuing to showcase local Indianapolis artists in an attempt to introduce more people to the wide variety of style and talent in our community. Yesterday, we looked at “Get By”, by The Bobbie Morrone Trio. But today we’re switching genres drastically. Throw the blues and soul out the window. We’re heading for the lands of experimental, psychedelic rock with a healthy dose of punk thrown in there.
While they’re already fairly well known in the Indy music scene, there’s a chance some out there might not be familiar with Chives. So before we get into our song of the day, here’s some more info on the band.
Chives is a local Indianapolis rock band that’s been making music in the Midwest for the past four years. In 2015, they released their first single, “Drop N Roll”, along with their first EP, “Drip”. 2016 was a similar year for Chives, which saw the release of their second EP “Porcelain”, and the two singles, “Nightgown”, and “Katana”. The next year brought the two track EP, “Payasso”. With no releases in 2018, Chives’ full length debut “Thrones” came as a welcome gift for dedicated fans this year, and an exciting introduction for new listeners.
Led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Ryan Perkins, Chives is an intense, eclectic, and fun combination of punk rock, energized psychedelia, and decidedly out-there delivery. There’s no doubt after listening to Chives that their target demographic lies far outside the mainstream. For weird, abrasive, and punchy experimental rock and roll, Chives has their target niche locked down. But to get a real idea of their sound, there’s no substitute to hearing Chives for yourself.
In the video above, you can watch Chives performing our song of the day, “Asteroid”. The video was produced by Beneficence Records, a student-run, nonprofit record label supported by the Music Media Production Dept of Ball State University.
“Asteroid is the opening track to Chives’ full length debut, “Thrones”. At just over two minutes long, its length is just a little shorter than the average Chives song. But despite the length, “Asteroid” makes up for it with a fiercely frenetic pace that propels the song ever forward.
While the punchy guitar riff that introduces “Asteroid” is capable of driving the song by itself, it’s really Perkins’ vocals that stand out and serve as the main driving force of the song. Even though some people may initially find his voice too abrasive or erratic, it’s also one of Chives’ most defining and distinctly unique features. Rather than being preoccupied with trying to make his voice sound pleasant, Perkins prioritizes energy and emotion, to the overall benefit of the song.
In regards to Chives’ instrumentation on “Asteroid”, it’s impressive how full of a sound they can accomplish with such a basic, three man setup. A lot of the credit should go to Perkins for his guitar playing. Similarly to the way Jimi Hendrix was able to balance melody and rhythm, Perkins seems to have a knack for knowing when to hit you with a clean riff, a punchy chord, or a face-full of fuzz. Now before everyone loses their minds, no, I’m not calling Ryan Perkins the next Jimi Hendrix. I’m simply observing that he uses similar techniques to bring a fuller sound to Chives’ three man setup.
Initially, I didn’t think I would take a liking to Chives. Right out of the gate, I thought they were being too weird just for weirdness’ sake. I listened to “Asteroid” once, and thought I’d probably be passing on them. But before I decided to write them off completely, I gave “Asteroid” another listen.
After getting over the initial shock of Perkins’ abrasive and erratic style, I found Chives’ sound growing on me. And now I can’t get “Asteroid” out of my head to save my life. Rather than being annoyed by this newfound ear-worm, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I like it. Don’t sleep on Chives.
For more coverage on the Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local Indianapolis artists.