The Chalfonts 

Sex Dreams on Submarines

Having seen The Chalfonts live, I know them to be a collection of goofballs. I figured once I dug into their songs they would be goofy too, in that kind of fun, gawky, liberal arts college dudes way. I was dead wrong. The band's debut, Sex Dreams on Submarines, is a mature, gracefully crafted and performed collection of music that, as concept, tells a story that hints of Homer's timeless Odyssey but set during 20th century wartime. That's my take on it anyway. (I didn't go to university.)

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Musically The Chalfonts are impossible to pin down. If forced at harpoon-point to classify them, I'd call them "prog-pop." Think of a band like Supertramp. Though different animals, there were times as I absorbed Submarines that the experience took me back to similar listens in my youth, Supertramp's Paris blasting in my ears. The Chalfonts use a wide variety of instrumentation and voices, but their sound never gets overwhelming or muddy. Choosing a highlight or two is a difficult task. I really enjoyed both "Joining the War" and "Albatross," but that sells the record short. This story works best beginning to end, lyrics in hand, in a darkened room with headphones on.

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