The Chewers’ “Chuckle Change and Also” is now on CD. It’s like the ’90s up in here!

The Chewers

So the other day, Travis from backwoods clatter-punks The Chewers writes us and is all like, “Our second album Chuckle Change And Also has just been released on real-life CD through Cimmerian Shade Recordings, fully mastered. Will you tell the kids about it?” And we were all like, “Hells yeah we will! An album released on CD? I hear that shit is the new vinyl! Everyone’s gonna want a copy cuz it’s all retro.”

But seriously, the new CD has cool artwork and four live bonus tracks and at eight bucks plus free shipping in the U.S., it’s a pretty good deal for a piece of technology that’s only somewhat obsolete.* If you wanna be all 21st century about it, you can also buy a digital download of the album for five bucks. But get the CD so you can wave it around when The Chewers blow up and be all, “I was into them back when people still bought CDs, bitches!

Anyway, both CD and download are available via the Cimmerian Shade website, which calls The Chewers “mind-melting, idiosyncratic, Beefheartian punk from the outer limits.” Wish we’d come up with that. Has a much nicer ring to it than “a couple of tattooed hillbillies who decided to retire early from the bathtub speed trade and form a band based on the Residents and Tom Waits records they found at a yard sale in Wheeling.” That was the best we could come up with when they won our Weird Band Poll back in April ’13. Bit long-winded in retrospect.

Let’s play this post out with a sample of Chuckle Change And Also‘s fully mastered charms. This is called “Smiling Samuel” and I’m pretty sure it’s about a guy I used to work with at the DMV.

The Chewers

The Chewers


Nashville doesn’t have a reputation as a hotbed of weird music, but maybe it should. Between Here Come the Mummies, H-Beam and now our latest Weird Band Poll winners, The Chewers, Music City U.S.A. has been flying its freak flag at full mast of late.

The Chewers are Travis Caffrey on (mainly) guitar and Michael Sadler on (mainly) drums, although their songs also feature a lot of programmed sounds and the occasional oddball instrument. (We’re particularly fond of the instrumental track “Don’t Go in the Tent,” which manages to make the usually goofy Siren Whistle sound like it’s coming to suck the breath from your body.) They describe themselves as “two freaks from the woods of West Virginia” and there is definitely a creepy, Deliverance-y quality to their off-kilter tunes, as though a couple of tattooed hillbillies decided to retire early from the bathtub speed trade and form a band based on the Residents and Tom Waits records they found at a yard sale in Wheeling.

But just because they’re hillbillies, don’t mistake them for rubes. There’s a smart, satirical edge to a lot of The Chewers’ best songs, like this two-for-one send-up of organized religion and the pharmaceutical industry (if you can’t see the SoundCloud players below, click here):

Then again, they’re also pretty great at just grunting salaciously, basically turning the first 30 seconds of The Doors’ “Back Door Man” into an entire song:

Finally, here’s a more recent track, “Burn It Down.” The vocals have gotten even weirder, but the music’s gotten groovier, too. We’re digging it.

They also make pretty good videos. Here’s one for “Techno-Slaves,” a track from their latest album, Chuckle Change and Also. We especially like the little saloon-keeper singing trio croaking away in the lower right hand corner.

So congrats on winning our April Weird Band Poll and keeping Nashville weird, guys. And if you see Brad Paisley, please bitch-slap him for us, OK? That “Accidental Racist” song might be the worst thing we’ve ever heard.


April Weird Band Poll: Vote for The Chewers, Clockwork Orchestra, Clowns and Fetuses, Scab Queen or Tupper Ware Remix Party

It’s that time of the month again, Weirdlings: the time when we stop doing our jobs and saddle you with the onerous task of choosing our next Weird Band of the Week. Don’t take this responsibility lightly, OK? Many a band has gained a whole new fan or three after winning one of these here poll puppies. So it’s kind of a big deal.

[Sorry, folks, the poll has now closed. Check back here Wednesday, when the winner will be revealed.]

Wanna know more about this month’s bands? Read on:

The Chewers


The Chewers are self-described “freaks from the woods of West Virginia making deliberately off-kilter music.” Here’s a link to their Soundcloud page; we recommend starting with “Funnel Head” or “Techno-Slaves.”

Clockwork Orchestra


Clockwork Orchestra is the solo project of Dublin-based songwriter/producer/”control freak extraordinaire” Paul Mangan. “Some people seem to think it’s quite weird,” he says of his music, which he describes as a “bewildering menagerie of sound.” Here’s his Soundcloud. Recommended starting point: “Talking to the Flowers.”

Clowns and Fetuses


Drummer/singer/artist/Theremin-player Rich Polysorbate 60 posted this clip from his band Clowns and Fetuses on our Submit a Band page awhile back, and we’ve been disturbed by it ever since. They’re from right here in Southern California, from a crappy industrial town on the outskirts of downtown L.A. called Vernon, but further details regarding their history or current activities remains a bit sketchy. Rich describes their live shows like this: “One show will be contact mics on power tools; the next show, Casios and lap steel guitar.” Here’s a video from one of their recent shows/installations.

Scab Queen


Scab Queen is Michael Lauden, a producer/noise artist from Athens, Georgia. His debut EP, Tiny Coffins, was recorded in “a server room, laundromat, punk-house combo” and is available on Bandcamp. Here’s a clip of his solo live show, which seems to consist mainly of live drums and improvised, laptop-generated noise.

Tupper Ware Remix Party


Tupper Ware Remix Party hail from Toronto, the same city that gave us last month’s Weird Band Poll winners, Barbara. Here’s how they describe themselves: “Daft Punk, Iron Maiden, Justice and Parliament all smashed into five spandex-clad, keytar wielding, pylon wearing, pelvic thrusting, wildly out of control individuals claiming to be from outerspace, except with way more lazers, confetti, projection screens, and sci-fi references.” Here’s their official website and here’s a link to their EP, The Device, available via Bandcamp.

So there you have it. We’ll close voting at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 21st, so help us get the word out…and may the weirdest band win!