There’s a universe where The Chap are on the cover of every magazine. Unfortunately, it's not this one.
Although both of their LPs are well worth investigating, it’s their debut album, ‘The Horse’, which pips it by a nose for me. The sheer weight of ideas bursting from the speakers is overwhelming: the driving, crushed beat in ‘Courage + Modesty’, how the detuned noise-house scree of ‘Effort plus Guns’ manages to invoke Boards of Canada, The Beatles AND Sonic Youth simultaneously, the joyous French pop of ‘Dror Frangi’….the list goes on.
The Chap’s brilliance is not, despite first appearances, the studied, synthetic brilliance of an LCD Soundsystem- this isn’t years of techniques diligently learned, honed, refined and reproduced. Instead, The Chap do for glitchy electronics, krautrock and British psychedelia what The Pixies did for surf music and spaghetti western soundtracks- digest, warp and melt their influences so that although, yes, this is clearly a band with catholic musical tastes, what emerges is completely instinctive, completely their own thing.
OK, there are a few barriers to world-wide acceptance- from a distance their name, and their love of knowing, geeky lyrics about sampler file formats and the vagaries of the London music scene give them the undeserved air of a North London insider’s joke band, more style than substance. But to tag them like that is to do them a grave disservice- although it’s tempting to say that they’re not quite as clever as they think they are, look closer and they’re actually a lot cleverer than you think they think they are.
Stick that in your grammar checker and smoke it.
There are several songs off the album here.