Chancius – Bando
A highly ambitious concept album that takes some bold risks, Bando is Chancius’ sophomore release that pulls out all the stops.
‘Hold On’ starts Chancius’ concept album with a dreamy beginning, fully of washy vocals and introspective lyrics that present a staccato, almost robotic feeling that nods towards the sounds of Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys. ‘Making It Up As We Go Along’ drives on forward with a more traditional indie sound, lo fi in its approach with slacker rock guitars and off kilter chimes that ring out while the vocals carefully match the guitar melody, creating something close to the wall of sound technique. Bando is a daring album which takes its time in unpacking its concept, which follows a young man dealing with a life threatening disease who attempts to prolong his life using an untested procedure. The album encapsulates the sense of worry, dread, loneliness, and mortality, and these themes are well conveyed on the album’s title track ‘Bando’, with its melancholic piano melody. ‘Pliers Donar’ balances contrasting tones, a powerful and hopeful energy intertwined with an underlying dread all wrapped up in a pop punk style, while ‘A Piece of You Wherever I Go’ shuffles through its ambling journey with a wandering guitar riff that flickers along like a heart rate monitor holding steady. The album is bisected by the short instrumental ‘Chrysalis’, an electronic and mumbling moment of oddness that serves as the perfect interlude, still as much full of dread as the rest of the tracks but with a sense of humour very much present. ‘Time and Space Died Today’ comes off as a kind of nursery rhyme that has been chopped up and distorted, an attempt at bringing peace and consolation but ultimately becoming the very embodiment of the album’s concept with its creepiness laced into the lo fi musical wanderings. Ringing out with almost brass like guitar notes, ‘Big Wave’ makes a mark on the landscape like a call to arms, the track itself making nods towards the works of Guided By Voices – the riff itself could easily be inspired by the classic ‘I Am A Tree’, while there are shades and flavours of Apples In Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel. ‘You’re Not One In A Million, You’re One Of A Million’ brings a healthy does of realism that stands in stark contrast to the more romantic and wistful tones that are frequently found in indie music, and ‘Hologram King’ is a truly rose tinted wash of beauty that acts as a sonic salve throughout the album’s occasionally challenging concept. Bando reaches its conclusion with ‘Thunderhead’, a punchy rock track that perfectly brings the album’s story to a satisfying close. While the album itself might not have much in the way of variety, it sticks closely to staying as consistent as possible to the sound that Chancius has clearly worked hard to create, and as a result what we are presented with here is a rock opera that offers emotion while also engaging the mind.