Miracle Chosuke - 7/8 Wonders Of The World (Cover Artwork)

Miracle Chosuke

7/8 Wonders Of The World (2003)

Dim Mak

To be honest, "experimental" indie rock outfits annoy me almost as much as teenagers at the mall who only speak in sound bytes from Kevin Smith movies. However, being the die-hard fan of the old-school "gray box" NES system that I am, my curiousity got the best of me when I found this album by a band named after a character in the game "Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf."

When I first put this album in, I wasn't sure what to make of it. It sounded like a surreal soundtrack for an acid-trip version of "Super Mario Brothers." While most albums you listen to have a predictable, mindless beat that you can become familar with after the first ten seconds, Miracle Chosuke's 9-track, 13-minute opus had me struggling to keep up. This album demanded my full attention.

Miracle Chosuke is a six-member noise machine, which includes two guitarists and a synthesizer. I know that the word "synthesizer" sends waves of revulsion through many, and deservedly so, but they fit in well on this record. They are used mainly to provide a smooth background element, whether they're providing the scintillating, insect-like intro to "Loop" or adding a smooth touch of Gary Numan to the meretricious beat of "Do what you pay me for..." Jason Silen's lispy, energetic vocals sound like an adolescent version of Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh with a pinch of Jello Biafra, whether he's raving like a madman or chirping along with the plinking guitars and humming bassline. The lyrics are equally peculiar and often times hilarious, such as the main verse of "Clifton," which goes "Down to the liquor store / Down to the drug store / Get your veterinarian a motherfuckin' snow cone!"

The songs themselves are wildly bouncy and eclectic, almost like a less-intense, poppier, more humorous version of the Dillinger Escape Plan. Each song is different from the ones next to it, and each is distinctive in its own unusual way. The frantic chaos of "Gonk," the opening track, is completely different than "Nemesis," the intricate, melodic instrumental track that closes the album.

It's difficult to find bands to compare to Miracle Chosuke, because they truly form their own sound. They're artsy without being pretentious or contrived, and experimental without sounding like complete shit. Pragmatic shoppers might feel reservations about paying nine bucks for a 13-minute album, but each song is musically dense and exactly long enough to get the point across. This album may not grip you right away, but once it does, you'll save a spot for it on your CD rack in between the Minutemen and the Misfits.