#Bandcampgold review-Solid Chunks of Energy by Jake McKelvie & The Countertops
Lyricism is so incredible because it can’t successfully be hidden. If you are really intent to find it you’ll be able to identify it. It’s not necessarily about the depth of the idea, but its vivid illustration. Jake McKelvie has that in spades. The word choice is as unique as his teen-tv-character-puberty-voice and Dylan comparisons are natural when you hear an odd voice on the first song of Solid Chunks of Energy (Mini-Monster) say “The juggler does need another amputation, it looks like we’ve got a crier in the plans.” The joyful bounce of Mini-Monster is what reminds me of Dylan; the guitar keeps a jogging pace and the song ends in fun “bah da bah” scat chanting; that sense of moving creative, poetic content while maintaining a jubilant pace is really engaging.
I could give you lots of ‘hot lines’ as examples of what I’m talking about. On Propellor he says “It gets so cold, next time I break the mold I’m going to wrap myself up in all of the pieces.” All of the songs on Solid Chunks of Energy address losing love, sometimes he narrates the breakup victim other times the perpetrator but that loss allows him to dig into his mind bag of image tricks and hurl them over simple digestible folk rock. On Wristwatch you might start to question if he is even on beat with the song, sometimes someone can be so off that they get back on and that’s how it works. Sounds like crazy talk but I’m not crazy, music is crazy. Wristwatch is a super fun song that you and your grandparents can tap toes to, and everyone loves Time is A Chew Toy.
As someone trained to respect MC’s moving crowds I had OHHH SH*T SON moments throughout Solid Chunks of Energy. Aside From Your Hair BEGINS with “I could watch the days disintegrate or I could start rebuilding them with double clicks, triple titles, fire me just like a rifle buy your kindness at the store, lay me out across the floor. I do not need your money just like I don’t need you anymore.” Just because these songs sound friendly and warm and appetizing doesn’t mean this is bland pleasant minimalist heartbreak music, the bopping warmth of the tempo is supposed to make this heavy dinner of words digestible.
The title of the album is hidden in Aside From Your Hair, “Solid chunks of energy or liquid if you have to fake it.” What I love about this album is that it’s not really about relationships at all. The same way Reservoir Dogs is not about the robbery. It’s about what you do after a catastrophe. After his heart is broken he relearns to eat and live and answer the phone all through the poetic language of a tangled intelligent mind. It’s the most fun depression music I’ve heard in a while.
These songs will not get boring over repeated listens; the first time will just be the song washing over you. After that, you’ll catch more and more each time until the ten songs seem massive. After that, we all need to find more Jake McKelvie & The Countertops albums.
Stream or Download Solid Chunks of Energy below: