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Review: Chameleon Circuit – Still Got Legs

27 Jul

Chameleon Circuit show us they’ve Still Got Legs – 8/10

On the 1st of June 2009, a band called Chameleon Circuit released a self titled record that defined its own new genre: Trock. The first ever Trock band’s album was something completely unheard of – all the songs were about Doctor Who. Most notably, the album shocked many people because it was actually… good. Fan favourites such as “Blink andAn Awful Lot of Running became well known amongst the YouTube community and are still today just as catchy as ever. However, as the band explains in various videos to this day, their first album was not the best it could have been (for starters, they had to finish it themselves without a proper producer). Enter Still Got Legs. 

From left to right: Liam Dryden, Edd Blann, Charlie McDonnell, Michael Aranda and Alex Day

Members of the original line-up were the YouTube vloggers Charlie McDonnell (“charliesissocoollike”), Alex Day (“nerimon”), Liam Dryden (“Littleradge”), and Chris Beattie (“CowInParachute”), but recently Chris Beattie has regenerated into Edd Blann (“Eddplant”) and Michael Aranda (who was originally just the producer of the second effort) has also become a fully fledged member in the course of the Still Got Legs saga. The new line-up has brought a noticeably different style that is excellently produced and far superior in finish. This is not to say that all the songs are better – in fact, due to the troubles they had with the first album, we may never know how good the first album could have been had Aranda been onboard – but every song feels complete this time round and the whole thing is a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. If their first album was about establishing a new type of music, then the second is undoubtedly about proving the genre’s metal and showing what they can do with proper production and a new line-up. The effort put into this album is instantly obvious and all you have to do is see the various credits for each song on the album to see how each member has tried their hand at all facets of the recording/song-writing process.

The physical copies of the album have obviously had care put into them, the album artwork is stunning and even the details such as the Gallifreyan patterns on the CD add up to making it look altogether a very nice thing to have on your CD tower. Not to mention, the band have once again released the album in partnership with YouTuber record label DFTBA and sold loads of copies proving either the solidarity of their fans, or the genuine demand for (and love of) the music. I’m partial to believing the latter, though I won’t ignore the former.

The Still Got Legs album artwork

Instant classics such as “Big Bang Two“, “Teenage Rebel” , “Kiss the Girl” and “The Doctor is Dying” immediately send themselves round in constant all-day loops in your head, but every song on the album has its own special quality and all deserve recognition in their own respect. Great moments ranging from epic (“I could do so much more!” in “the Doctor is Dying”), to melodic (the choir style singing at the end of “Travelling Man”), to just plain fun (“oh my god he’s wearing a fez! Oh my god he’s wearing a fez! Ohmygodheswearingafez!” in “Big Bang Two”) make this album what it is: a celebration of all things Doctor Who and a love for the show that the Doctor himself would be proud of.  One of my only criticisms would be that the final song “Still Not Ginger” is of a completely different tone to the rest of the album – a reason the song “Doctor What” was apparently omitted for – but this by no means spoils things and it is obviously placed there as a light-hearted-end-of-album-wind-down-song.

Chameleon Circuit are back stronger than ever and their new album is definitely worth its pricetag of $12.00 (and shipping fee if you live outside the USA) and they’re even a lovely enough bunch to let you listen to the whole thing for free online, so you can decide if you do actually want to buy it. The album’s name comes from a line in the show that doesn’t need explaining, but was almost called “Proper Decent Music” after how David Tennant (who had actually heard songs from the first album) described the band – a title that Still Got Legs has certainly lived up to. Well done to Chameleon Circuit for showing us you’ve Still Got Legs (please excuse the awful pun), and roll on album number three!

8/10

For more information on Still Got Legs click here to watch a video explanation by Charlie or to listen to the album entirely for free on Alex Day’s website you can click here.

Click here to view/purchase Still Got Legs on DFTBA.com

Thanks for reading this review, it’s the first of many Doctor Who related ones to come. (I hope!)

If you have anything to say about your own views of the album or something else to do with the band (or Trock) please comment below!

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