Revengineers is a name familiar to numerous Northeastern chipmusic fans, and while the group may not be the most active, their music is extremely indicative of the state that chiprock is in at this point in time. Nick Maynard, a member of the Revengineers, has released an album under his solo alias ‘LITTLE PAW’ entitled ‘SPACE CORGI’, which blends indie rock and chipmusic to create a thing of beauty. A danceable fusion of indie rock and chipmusic, the album is a joyous adrenaline rush from start to finish. Let’s dive in and see what ‘SPACE CORGI’ has in store for us!
‘SPACE CORGI’ opens with the electrifying ‘What Kind of Day Has It Been’. Maynard’s style is quite similar to that of Danimal Cannon or groups such as I Fight Dragons or Anamanaguchi, but with a distinct difference in the overall vibe of the music; no single instrument is particularly dominant throughout the track. Due to the extremely high quality of the sound production, every individual effect that LITTLE PAW uses can be picked out and heard precisely the way it was intended. Whether it’s a series of head-banging guitar chords, square arpeggios passing fleetingly through your speakers, or dynamic changes from piano to forte, LITTLE PAW sets himself up for success right from the get-go and pulls no punches with this incredible fusion of pop and rock.
Just before ‘GWAH’, the third track on the album, begins playing, ‘SPACE CORGI’ gives the impression of being an entirely uptempo, fast-paced piece of work. This slightly slower piece has a memorable melody, using duty/noise changes and sweeping pitch bends to a phenomenal end. Ambient guitar chords in the background give ‘GWAH’ a more relaxed tone than most other songs on the album. A bassy, growling WAV channel rounds out a stellar song, alongside drum kits used in tandem with noise percussion during quieter portions. Nick performed this track and ‘ELECTRONIC MUSIC’ at 8static Festival 2015 this past weekend, and there’s a video just below for your viewing pleasure. Check it out; you won’t be disappointed!
The fifth track, ‘Something Exploded In Russia…’, is another fairly downtempo piece, co-written with Shawn Martin of Noisewaves. Opening with simple noise snares, a common opener belies an uncommonly brilliant composition. LITTLE PAW’s use of square arps from 1:20 on are stunningly beautiful, and in many cases span several octaves, as can be heard at 1:21 and through a large portion of the song’s second half. The rest of the track even stops to take a breather at one point, and this allows LITTLE PAW’s arpeggiation to really shine. ‘Something Exploded In Russia…’ undergoes a significant change in tone in the final moment of the track; square toms and overall percussion pick up, guitar chords ring out continuously, and the song sounds more frantic and excited than its initial form.
The final track and the album’s namesake, ‘Space Corgi’, is one heckuva finisher for an album that I’ve already considered to be one of my favorites of 2015. This song opens with distorted audio that bends and twists to the point where it almost sounds like a DJ has the recording on a turntable before segueing into the song’s main melody. Guitar is a much greater focus in this song, and Maynard’s solo at 1:00 really lets his organic skill take center-stage, even if only for a moment. A new melody arises in the last moments of the song, and the last 40 seconds of the track only increase in intensity to the very end.
‘SPACE CORGI’ is available on Bandcamp for just $5. That’s less than $1 per track, and I promise that the enjoyment you’ll get out of this album – whether it’s from the good vibes, the guitar work, the compositional aspects, or the vast amount of hardware and software used to make ‘SPACE CORGI’ – is worth every penny.