July 15, 2004

Jon Chinn "I CAn't believe You live like that"

Ohio = good, conservative rock.

I don't know what it is about the anthropological layout of America, but it seems as if Ohio produces great rock music. From great crunchy rock of Guided By Voices and the Breeders to classic punk of New Bomb Turks and Rocket From the Tombs to weird stuff like Devo and Brainiac, seems you can find it all in Ohio. I have yet to figure out why this is, but I've discovered that I have higher expectations from bands that come from Ohio.

Jon Chinn is a veteran of the Ohio scene, having performed in such bands as Pretty Mighty Mighty, Miranda Sound and The Stepford Five. With I Can't Believe You Live Like That marks his solo debut, and, as expected, it's a pretty traditional sounding rock record. Don't let the 'traditional' part throw you, though, because Chinn's music is pretty solid. For the most part, Chinn's songs are acoustic-based; while they're not ballads, they're softer, gentler rock music, often accented and highlighted with your traditional backing band lineup.

Chinn sings with a soft, gentle croon; one that's both dreamy and sleepy, which works well with his lovelorn lyrics. True, the influence of Bob Pollard hangs over Chinn--especially on great songs like "Record Sets," "Last Night" and "Lie To Me," but Chinn's not guilty of trying to be GBV. He's writing modern day love songs for the indie-rock impaired, and, personally, I'm fond of it. Songs like "All About" and "Stop Being So Dramatic" and the title track would all be wonderful songs to put on mixtapes for a girl or boy you wanted to impress or wanted to make feel better after a bad breakup. At times, I'm reminded of the softer moments of Buffalo Tom, and this is a good thing.

I Can't Believe You Live Like That is indeed a good thing. Short, to the point, concise soft indie-rock. Can't argue with that. This is a lovely, subtle record by a great, down-to-earth kind of guy. Chinn is about as Ohio as you can get, and this record only solidifies my feelings for Ohio rock. Wouldn't be surprised to find this record playing in coffeehouses in Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland; Chinn mixes quite well with the smell of coffee.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.jonchinn.com
Label Website: http://www.reverbose.com

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