After taking a hiatus that was rumored to be permanent, Chomsky is back together. Seeing them play Saturday night at the Barley House was a reminder of how awesome this band is.
Here's some backstory: Chomsky was introduced to me via KTCU with their A Few Possible Selections for the Soundtrack to Your Life album being in heavy rotation. Hearing its sixth track, "Road," on a regular basis was a great lead-in with this hard-to-describe band. You could hear their 1980s college rock influences (especially XTC), but they definitely didn't ape their influences.
Steve was kind enough to give me a CD of an acoustic session Chomsky did on the Tom and Steve Show. Hearing their stuff on acoustic guitars, stand-up bass and a snare drum was (like so many cases) the litmus test of how strong the material was. Well, I was very impressed and I followed the band closely from then on.
I saw them play at the Aardvark in Fort Worth numerous times, at the front of the TCU student center a few times, Club Clearview in Dallas a few times and once at Red Eye Fly in Austin. Never a disappointment live or on record, but upon the release of their Let's Get to Second album, the band just seemed out of steam. They played on the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and then poof!, they reportedly broke up.
Seeing them play Saturday night, my faith in Chomsky was restored. They played a lot of songs from their A Few Possible and Onward Quirky Soldiers records and a few new songs that were really good. The set included the standards ("15 Minutes to Rock," "Road") with not-often-played-live tracks like "Warm," "Tape Number 7" and "Straight Razor," thus raising the "awesome!" level. Finishing with Glen doing bits of Def Leppard's "Foolin'" and "Photograph" solo was a fitting end.
Man, I'm glad they're back.