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Understand one thing: Despite the retro-sounding handle, CHIPS are anything but an Eighties nostalgia act. Granted, there might be a few traces of no wave in the duo's musical DNA, as their eponymous innova debut would seem to indicate, but the same could be said of surf music, bebop, and Armenian folk melodies, to name but a few of the tactical options these young men wield so wildly and so well.
If anything, drummer Sean Noonan (who also drives THE HUB) and guitarist Aram Bajakian have the lion's share of their rhizomes planted firmly in the neophilic neighborhood also occupied by John Zorn, Ruins, Fred Frith, and Cul de Sac. It's a sunny grove (except when it storms), where jazz, rock, and all kinds of experimentation converge freely and openly—without shame, fear, or the threat of a bad hangover. And, like their esteemed peers, CHIPS frolic.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
...haunting airy textures... could be the soundtrack to a walk through a middle American ghost town. - Matt Rand
Sean Noonan is an absolutely amazing drummer... Guitarist Aram Bajakian is an accomplished player who seems comfortable in a number of styles... Considering most of the tracks here just feature the two players, it's all the more amazing that the pieces pack the power that they do. Overall, a spirited and energetic workout. - Peter Thelen
...improvisational jazz a la Fripp an' Cutler in a RecRec mood. - Roland Woodbe