Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ditch Croaker "Chimpfactor" cd (Fine Corinthian/1995)

If there is one word that I feel probably describes Hoboken, NJ's Ditch Croaker, the word without a doubt would be under appreciated. As far as 90's indie rock goes, for all the great things that era spawned I do have to say that it championed mediocrity more so than craftsmanship. And while Ditch Croaker certainly bared sonic resemblance to bands such Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh and Buffalo Tom, their songs were certainly more refined. I even detect a hint of Creedence Clearwater Revival in their sound which is awesome, but back then as far as I can tell your parents' record collection wasn't as cool as it is today. Ditch Croaker's tunes were catchy but had that melodic dissonant thing that bands like the aforementioned Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh had going for itself.  I would probably lean the sound a bit closer to the Sebadoh tip as Ditch Croaker's songs certainly had a darker edge to them at times and the lyrics have always reminded me of the stuff Lou Barlow and Jason Lowenstein would write.

Truthfully, this isn't my favorite Ditch Croaker release which would be 1996's Secrets of the Mule which in my opinion is a bonafide unheralded classic album of the 90s, but with all of that said Chimpfactor is a solid album. If I had one beef with it, I feel it isn't very front loaded as the best songs are on the second half of the album. Perhaps my main reason for sharing Chimpfactor over Secrets of the Mule is that in the few places in blog land that I have seen write ups or uploads from Ditch Croaker it is always about Secrets of the Mule. However, at some point I will upload Secrets of the Mule as well the other release I own by Ditch Croaker, 1999's Tranquil Waters. I got to see Ditch Croaker once in 1997 as the first band on a bill at the Knitting Factory with Nada Surf, The Wrens and The Candy Butchers, and they were absolutely fantastic live. It is a shame that I only saw them that one time. Anyhow, enough of my yourself a favor download Chimpfactor and if you can't wait for my eventual upload of Secrets of the Mule, I implore you to not just seek out on a blog but pick up the cd which always shows up dirt cheap on sites like Ebay, Amazon, etc. There is a vinyl version but I haven't seen that turn up as much.

Ditch Croaker Chimpfactor track listing:

1. Mr Bluefish
2. Madman at the Opera
3. Monkey Wild
4. Fallen Behind
5. Pleasant Trip
6. Sweet Lucy
7. Videohead
8. Ticker Type

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