|Album Review: The Chain Gang of 1974 – Daydream Forever|
The Chain Gang of 1974
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The Chain Gang of 1974 is back. In it’s fourth album, multi-instrumentalist and DJ Kamtin Mohager sets the tone in the opening track Ordinary Fools with insistent wails of “Hey! Leave your records on!” And with this record, we did just that.
Daydream Forever has the sort of nostalgic meets future feel that we’ve come to expect from Mohager. Deeper into the album, his songs tend to feel more comfortable and familiar. “Sleepwalking”, one of the albums’ best, was heard around the world in ads for the latest Grand Theft Auto installment, introducing a wave of new fans to The Chain Gang of 1974. Original fans, however, will prefer the more raw, experimental tracks like Miko and Ordinary Fools. The album’s other tracks open the doors to a more mainstream audience with catchy hooks and likeable vocals.
Before working on his solo projects, Kamtin Mohager spent years as the touring bassist for the short-lived dance craze 3OH3!. There are some similarities to his dance-heavy bass roots throughout the album, with touches of LCD Soundsystem and Passion Pit helping him stake out a new territory in the indielectronic scene.
What I love most about the opening track, Ordinary Fools, is its ability to grab you from whatever you’re thinking about and put you smack in the middle of the bands’ most intrusive sounds. Sleepwalking, on the other hand, mixes 80’s retro grooves with that emotion of your favorite old love songs.
My favorite track on the album goes to Death Metal Punk. The words “You’re a vampire on a conference call.” have a way of grabbing your attention and conjuring a smile. The line is a perfect lead up to the catchiest of catchy choruses on the album. It gives you that “I wish I was hearing this live at their show” feeling that I live to find.
The other tracks blend together at times, not necessarily in a bad way. Most carry a unique anxiousness that take the song to a much deeper place on a second listen. For many, this is an album that grows on you with each listen.