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Chills - Scatterbrain

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 23 / 8 / 2021



Chills - Scatterbrain
Label: Fire Records
Format: CD

intro

Reflective and thought-provoking seventh album from influential Dunedin indie act The Chills


Having a sort of penchant for the music that trickles out of New Zealand and especially Dunedin, it came as a welcome surprise to me when the promo CD for this album landed on my doormat. One of the biggest exponents of the sound that was later to be heralded as the ‘Dunedin sound’ was the band The Chills. The band now are comprised of Martin Phillipps (guitar and vocals), Callum Hampton (bass and backing vocals), Todd Knudson (drums and backing vocals), Erica Scally (guitar, keyboards, violin and backing vocals) and Oli Wilson (keyboards and backing vocals) but the mainstay since their conception way back in 1980 is frontman Phillipps who has seen no less than fifteen members come and go from the band. The Chills rocketed to fame in some style with their early singles which included 'Pink Frost', 'I Love My Leather Jacket'and 'Wet Blanket', released by legendary New Zealand indie label Flying Nun and over the years they have clocked up six studio albums making this 'Scatterbrain' the band's seventh full-length offering following hot on the heels of 2018’s hugely successful 'Snowbound 'and the critically-acclaimed movie 'The Chills: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Martin Phillipps' which appeared a year later. This latest outing is a glorious self-examination of Martin Phillipps'’songwriting and soul searching during unprecedented times. This, compared to anything that has come before from Phillipps, seems a little more grown up, let’s say. Here the man who has confronted enormous struggles and wonderful joys throughout The Chills' long existence is almost examining his own mortality and taking stock of his life and purpose. Featuring front cover artwork by David Costa of Trees fame, the music on here is a tad more mature than what has come before. The immortal tones of 'Monolith' start the affair and that scene is continued into the ticking timebombs and honesty of 'Hourglass' and 'Destiny'. The latter is a sad indictment of just how much we have screwed things up here on Planet Earth. The rest rumbles on with aliens invading and a look through the microscope of worlds and uncertainty. I say it rumbles on as if this piece of work is not up to scratch which is so far from the truth. This is Dunedin at its best, but it's mixed with a little psychedelia and piano-driven ballads here and there and the wonderful inclusion of a bit of strings. This, my friends, is a great way to spend just under an hour of indie soaked Dunedin at its finest. Marvellous!



Track Listing:-
1 Monolith
2 Hourglass
3 Destiny
4 Caught In My Eye
5 You're Immortal
6 Little Alien
7 Safe and Sound
8 Worlds Within Worlds
9 Scatterbrain
10 The Walls Beyond Abandon


Band Links:-
https://www.facebook.com/thechills
https://twitter.com/thechills
http://www.softbomb.com/


Label Links:-
https://twitter.com/firerecordings
https://www.facebook.com/Firerecords
http://www.firerecords.com/
https://firerecords.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/fire_records/
https://www.youtube.com/user/FirerecordsUK


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profiles


The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps (2019)
Chills - The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps
Dastardly attends the premiere of a frank but endearing new documentary about New Zealand band The Chills and their frontman Martin Phillipps

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Kaleidoscope World (2016)
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Dixie Ernill examines New Zealand indie pop band the Chills' debut album 'Kaleidoscope World', which has just been reissued in a two CD expanded edition


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The BBC Sessions (2014)
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