Starting in 1987, around the time Robert Pollard and Lou Barlow were starting to do the same on portastudios in Dayton and Amherst, Dolph Chaney (then 13 years old) began messing around with words, melodies, guitars, his Realistic Moog synthesizer, and tape recorders. The results are like an alternate world's top 40. The guitars ring and buzz with Townshendy zeal, the voice soothes and cajoles and smirks and pries and climbs... until suddenly the listener becomes aware of being awash in an apocalyptic epiphany amid a song about, for example, saline nasal spray as romantic angst.
Comparisons have been made to acknowledged influences such as XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, the Violent Femmes, Bob Mould, Elvis Costello, Matthew Sweet, Neutral Milk Hotel. Dolph's music has brought him experiences running the gamut, from encouragement received as a 15-year-old from experimental guitar shaman Eugene Chadbourne by mail, to sitting in a festival green room being told by Jim Bakker why he cowers at the sight of a Diet Coke.
New for 2013 is SHENANIGANS, perhaps the best meeting yet of Dolph's creativity and craft with loose but listenable sonics. It follows a line from 1998's NEW BIRD RISE, which was a successful experiment in having such luxuries as a budget, an engineer, and recording capabilities beyond 4-track, and homemade peaks such as GUMSHOE KOALA (2008) and LOUDNESS 2 11 (2012). But, regardless of their midwifely and sonic contexts, what always shines through in a Dolph Chaney release are the imaginative, irrepressible, and deeply felt songs. Feel them today.