Local Indy punk rock band Chives bring their usual combination of chaotic energy and delightfully weird songwriting on the track, “Payasso”, from their debut full length album.
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything out of Chives, Indy’s psyched-out punk rock band. As one of the finalists for the Battle of the Bands this year, they’ve also been gaining some more attention lately. And even though they didn’t win, there’s still plenty to love about Chives and their fun, weird, frenetic style. So today we thought we’d give them a special shout out by taking a look at their track, “Payasso”.
But before we do, here’s some more information on Chives, for anyone who either hasn’t heard of them yet for some reason, or is just a little curious to know more.
Chives is a local Indy punk rock band led by frontman, singer-songwriter and guitarist Ryan Perkins, who brings a wild and chaotic energy to Chives’ combination of punk and psychedelic influences. It’s pretty safe to say that Chives could and would not exist without Perkins, who brings a stronger presence during live performances than some full bands can manage.
While they do have energy on their side, the one downside Chives could run up against in tomorrow’s competition is that their music may be a bit more of an acquired taste. With a mixed crowd voting during the Battle of the Bands, it could cost them. That being said, Chives have still found a significant following in Indianapolis. If enough of their fans come out to support them, they could run away with first.
While their debut album just came out this past year, Chives has been making music in Indy for the better part of the decade. In 2015, they released their first single, “Drop N Roll”, along with their first EP, “Drip”, followed up by their 2016 EP, “Porcelain” and two more singles. 2017 brought a smaller release with Chives’ two track EP “Payasso”. After one year of silence, Chives came back in 2019 to bring their first full-length album, “Thrones”.
“Payasso” is the third to last track off of Chives’ 2019 album “Thrones”. At two minutes and sixteen seconds, it’s short and sweet like the majority of Chives songs, but definitely cranks up the weird vibes. But despite its strangeness, the track manages to remain interesting both lyrically and melodically, never dragging. There’s no room to leave you bored on a Chives track, and “Payasso” is no exception to that rule.
Perkins’ wavering guitar mimics the melody of his wavering voice throughout “Payasso”. It’s this technique that may be the key behind some of Chives’ weirder sounding songs. The mimicking of the melody not only makes it stronger, but somehow more credible and stickier in the brain. Even during the more ridiculous sections, when Perkins’ voice reaches that slightly grating register, there’s something that keeps “Payasso” in your head long after its two minutes and sixteen seconds are over.
In its entirety, “Payasso” isn’t that complex structurally. Actually, it’s fairly straightforward. Chives doesn’t seem to feel the need to mess with the verse, chorus verse method. Instead they bring in their experimentation through exotic, almost dissonant melodies and intense punk energy.
Overall, “Payasso” is probably one of Chives’ stronger songs, in that it’s short, sweet, speedy, and slick. I don’t always like to judge a song based on whether it sticks in my head after I’ve finished listening to it, but sometimes that’s a credible metric to use to tell you whether or not you like something. And even though it’s unapologetically weird, there’s something I do fully enjoy about “Payasso”. Maybe it’s just that they’re unapologetically weird.
For more coverage on the Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local Indianapolis artists.