DFA’s reissue of Pylon’s second LP release, 1983’s Chomp, (following the reissue of their 1980 debut Gyrate) offers inarguable justiﬁcation for their seminal status. “K,” an unlikely ode to Scrabble that opens the record, begins with drummer Curtis Crow using his snare to tick off a beat akin to a time bomb; seconds later the song builds to a clash ofjagged guitar lines, wiry bass, propulsive drumming and Vanessa Briscoe’s startling vocals. “Crazy,” – which R.E.M. would later famously cover– sees guitarist Randy Bewley avoiding his usual sharp angles and instead taking a jangly respite, while Briscoe veers from a moody monotone to arresting snarls and piercing yelps. “Yo-Yo” strips down to herky jerky staccato guitar and a few perfectly placed lyrical melodies; “Gyrate” buzzes with antsy, danceable energy; “Altitude” is a gorgeous and dreamy study in loud-quiet-loud dynamics.
In addition to remastered versions of the LP’s 12 original tracks, Chomp More includes the 7” version of “Crazy”; a “male version” of “Yo-Yo,” on which Briscoe merely guest stars, Pylon’s own frenzied, frenetic remix of “Gyrate” and the rarely heard single “Four Minutes,” an ineffably beautiful pastiche of homemade and seemingly found noise. These innovative songs speak to the timeless vision of four young people who unwittingly created a sound that still sounds innovative, fresh and distinct. More than three decades on, Pylon continues to lead – while music, as always, lags safely behind.