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The Chugs - The Cancept Album

The Cancept Album is not merely an album with a disjointed, unusual title -- the music is also a bizarre, utterly one-of-a-kind experience. On the surface, The Chugs is a punk band, but dig a little deeper and you find songs with a myriad of musical influences. This six-track release opens with the electrifying "Sky Blue Waters.” In terms of the chord progression and melody, there's a bouncy and upbeat vibe to this track. It's a jubilant, soaring experience. But aesthetically, The Chugs deliver grizzly, screaming vocals, fuzzy, distorted guitar and punchy drums. I particularly enjoyed the catchy hook in the choruses -- the harmonized vocal melody is a real earworm. This is a great start to the album. When you've only got six songs to offer on a record, it's important that each song makes a statement.

And that's certainly the case on the second track, "Public Transit.” This is more of the experience one would expect when going into a punk rock album. A manic pace, vocals even more brutal than the intro, and guitars which sizzle and scorch. There's a slightly dark, unhinged energy to this track too. I really like the contrast between the vibe of the first and second song. And that as nothing compared to the sudden transition into a gentle, pleasant, summery clean guitar progression on "Morning Beer" -- a short but sweet interlude, driven in the second half by fuzzy power chords and tender, serene vocals. It was a surprise to hear delicate, fragile singing after two songs of belting vocals.

"Breakfast of Hammpions" is another catchy banger. A fantastic vocal hook in the opening moments of the track - immediately, the song worms its way into my mind. And then Offspring-esque, pop-punk verses with fun, bouncy power chords and shout-singing vocals soar into the mix. The chorus is so unbelievably catchy. Love the melody on this one. The album closes on the fantastic "Chug With You Forever,” and I really felt that the album came full circle on this one -- another upbeat, joyous tune, like the opener. But, of course, plenty of roaring vocals, blistering guitar progressions and furious drumming. This is a punk band that manages to maintain a consistent aesthetic, even when traversing different genres and moods in their music. Love the variety on this album.

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