Progressive-rockers Chef Menteur release new album East of the Sun, West of the Moon
by Alison Fensterstock,
The longstanding but infrequently performing local experimental outfit Chef Menteur celebrated the release of its first new album since 2007 this past week. The double LP ďEast of the Sun, West of the Moon,Ē pressed in a limited, hand-printed vinyl edition on the Backporch Revolution label, includes much of what you might expect from a band that once named an album for an obscure Thomas Pynchon plot point: itís dense, layered, ambient psychedelic rock using guitar, Farfisa organ and plenty of found sounds.
Performed live to a hushed crowd at the release party last weekend, the new songs felt intensely cerebral and deliberate; full of restraint, tension, and repetition, but also melody and lightness. Itís like lying in a sunshiny meadow full of flowers while a gentle breeze ruffles the pages of your calculus textbook.