lespecial- “Cheen” Album Review

Album Review

Imagine you discover something you simply cannot describe to anyone without sounding like a complete fool. Your mind struggles to properly create descriptive words fitting enough to convey an experience completely unique to you. That is how I  feel in regards to the newest album Cheen by lespecial.  Sure, I could throw out words like “Heavy, Psychedelic, Ambient, Groovy, Funky or Resounding…but they couldn’t really scratch the surface of what this album truly is. 

“(Cough)” Work of art….

Instead of beating around the bush and filling your head with all kinds of trivial attempts at analyzing something that should be subjective anyway, I am going to come right out and say this…the members of lespecial function on an entirely different level mentally than the rest of us. What I mean to say is that there are many talented musicians out writing perfectly good songs. People who can shred a killer guitar solo and folks who can write a banging club track. Then there are people who can take you on musical journal so profound that your entire thought process changes. Musicians who seem to use their instruments to tweak parts of your brain that you don’t normally use. Something entirely unique from start to finish.  Cheen by lespecial is my pick for album of the year for that very reason. 

I couldn’t possibly attempt to do a track by track analysis of this album because it’s truly one of those things you have to experience for yourself. The words I attempt to describe it with will never do these songs the justice I feel they truly deserve but I will touch upon a few things. As soon as Jonathan Grusauskas began singing the words “An opiate totem in city center,Villagers lined up, look what they have done to us...” on  the second song “Onlookers” I knew this album was going to be a complete journey into the musical experience.  I can feel the neurons in my brain exploding to life as his voice grabs hold of you abruptly while it also seems to soothe and comfort,then it powerfully lifts you  up and carries you on a ride through waves of sound.  It’s simply musical narcotics….

 The song”Gallows Hill” is a masterpiece as far as I am concerned.  It progresses and ascends hypnotically for almost a full 7 minutes before it breaks down and Rory Dolan blasts the song apart with his drums bass pedal. The entire song puts you into a trance until  you find yourself snapped back into reality when an alarm clock faintly rings out at the songs end.  Songs like this one really encapsulate how truly unique and amazing a band like lespecial is.

Sure, One could definitely make the argument that these guys have influences and you can definitely hear that someone threw a bucket of Les Claypool all over the song “American Apocalypse” but it’s phenomenal even by Primus standards. Luke Bemand certainly emulates Claypool’s signature style but it’s almost as if it were done to show off how ridiculously talented of a Bass player he is. The entire band is composed of the finest musicians you will find anywhere. 

Cheen is NOT an album intended for everyone, this is the type of music for people that when asked “So what type of music do you listen to?  they answer “I listen to a little bit everything” but they actually mean it. True fans of music will appreciate this for it’s sonic diversity. As with anything lespecial creates it’s difficult to know what has prompted such broad musical creativity but no matter what the reason, in my humble estimation they have to this point of their careers created their definitive work. Cheen has some of the best elements of various different genres melted into one amazing album. It is by far the most interesting compilation of sounds I have heard all year. So lock your doors, put on a pair of headphones and listening to this one from start to finish. It’s amazing! 

You can pick up a copy of Cheen out today!

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  • Derek Jones