Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pylon - Chomp

Well loved in their home town of Athens, GA, but little known outside of it, Pylon broke up too early to capitalize on the brief media fascination with the town in that wake of R.E.M.'s success.

R.E.M. regularly cited Pylon as an influence, but it's often hard to hear it in the music. Pylon were far more interested in dance beats coupled to angular, post-punk guitar than R.E.M.'s Byrdsian jangle pop. To my ears, Pylon usually sounded closer to the aesthetic of British post-punk acts like Gang of 4, Delta 5, and Au Pairs than to the music Athens became briefly famous for.

The closest Pylon got to jangle-pop was "Crazy," a song best-known for R.E.M.'s cover of it. Pylon's version is superior, and remains my favorite track by the band.

Pylon's first album, Gyrate, was reissued by DFA Records last year. Hopefully they'll reissue Chomp in the near future as well. I always considered Chomp the better album, but Gyrate seems to be the one that has acquired the posthumous reputation as a source of inspiration on today's indie scene. This probably says a lot about how out-of-touch I am with recent developments in indie rock.

Of course the coolest thing about the LP is the way the serrated top edge of the record cover kinda, sorta, not really looks like it's been "chomped" on by a dinosaur.

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