EP REVIEW: Chameleon Technology Explore Multimedia Pop Punk on Blank Canvas

Bowtie Ballin'

Pop punk doesn’t have to be a bad thing, a point made over the course of 5 songs on Chameleon Technology’s latest EP Blank Canvas. The project of renowned drummer Max Histrionic, Chameleon Technology (sometimes simply referred to as ChamTech) produces guttural bass-driven punk rock-influenced bursts with melodic guitars and vocals conjuring the full spectrum of hardcore. Yet, the one-man band takes things a step further by turning each live performance into a multimedia art installation in which high quality audio recordings are synced up with video of Histrionic performing each instrument, while he actually plays guitar and sings live. Histrionic virtually and literally becomes his own backing band. The fusion of pop art and sound is Gorillaz meets Gorilla Biscuits.

There’s a certain harkening back to the simultaneously clean and dirty production of the mid-to-late-‘90s stamped all over Blank Canvas, at times reminding of poppier alt metal acts like Helmet or even A Perfect Circle. This sound never relents over the EP’s 5 tracks but it’s far from tiresome since the songs are so energetic and short. It would almost be properly punk if that weren’t an oxymoron. There’s a radioactive element to the high riffing guitars on tracks like “No Safe Word” reaching points of careful instability on “Serin’s Vending.” For a band called Chameleon Technology, the sound is far less electronic than you’d expect but every bit as green and slimy as you’d hope.

Though Histrionic doesn’t deviate from the initial sound that greets listeners on the first track, there’s still something more radio friendly about the title track and chosen single. It’s a track born out of time in the sense that you could easily hear it on your local alternative radio station circa 1996 which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. Chameleon Technology may not be pushing sonic boundaries but he’s at least creating a nice sound.