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The Chimeras - Her

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“From Muddy Waters to The Stones to The Walkmen, rock is all about studying classic forms and spinning them in your own way. These guys get it.”  - John Vettese, Philadelphia City Paper

According to the good people at Merriam-Webster, a Chimera is defined as, “a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.” We’re pretty sure such creatures were in the minds of The Chimeras hailing from West Philly when they wrote their latest album, Her. But these rock provocateurs outdo the obvious theme of their latest album, with rich metaphors, symbols, and imagery that match an equally developed musical back-story. In fact, the characters in the album don’t necessarily “need to be a woman [sic],” explains drummer Il Shim Pearlman.

The Chimeras have a knack for creating great rock tunes with witty lyrics that follow a thematic string. Their 2007 debut, Party of God , touched on the traumas of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was based off of stories from the Times and cable news. This latest release,Her, examines some women in the literal sense and some larger character archetypes. For instance, “Gladys” is a real woman. She works at the Wendy’s on the way to the cabin where the album was recorded. “Lorraine” is inspired by Gloria Swanson’s character in Sunset Boulevard and “Abra” is a character in East of Eden. But mostly, Matt Turnbull says, “They’re based on movies, books, just certain characters we liked…we’d take the idea and try to make it into something new.”

But aside from whatever the listener takes from the album lyrically, these are great, clattering rock songs by an astute group of lads. The Chimerasare made up of Adam Cooper (bass/vocals), Matt Turnbull (guitar/vocals), Dan Ferry (guitar/vocals), and Il Shim Perlman (drums.) They spend their days as library assistants or contructions workers, and dedicate nights to recording and running their studio, SlingShotStone. “Our goal at first was to be more of a basement recording band,” says Ferry, who formed the band with Turnbull in 2003 while they were students at Temple University. But they soon found themselves playing regularly after recruited Cooper from the Pad Thai restaurant around the corner and finding Pearlman in Cooper’s jazz ensemble. 

Musically, there’s a fantastic way that the lyrics and instruments let each other share the spotlight. The jangling guitars never outplay the symbol crashes or the deadpan Lou Reed style vocals. The music is varied and strong throughout. Its not hard to see why the band has garnered more than a few reference to the Stones. 

Recent News Items
John Vettese (WXPN) - Chimeras top Best of 2010 and Oh! Pears are a Best New Artist
Posted: 1/12/2011
Daily Vault: Indie Friday guests The Chimeras explain all about Her to David Bowling
Posted: 5/28/2010
Online Rock describes The Chimeras - Her as " thirteen girls you definitely want to hang with"
Posted: 5/6/2010
The Chimeras Live In-Studio Performance for Y-Rock Philly, FREE MP3 Download
Posted: 4/30/2010
Stereo Subversions reviews The Chimeras new album 'Her'
Posted: 4/22/2010
The Chimeras release "Her"
Posted: 3/17/2010
See all news

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