If you’ve been pacing around your apartment, anxious for something as weird as you are, you’re finally in luck. In fact, there’s a high possibility you’re gonna want to sit down for this one, as by the end of it you will likely be jumping off of walls and/or ceilings. Today, Charger Port is here to take you on a sonic journey far across the established norms. Truth be told, there aren’t many sonic guideposts out there that even resemble the direction Charger Port has taken with Underwater Megaphone, but in the end, it’s title serves as more than just a subtle hint.
Imagine yourself as a small child, innocently pushing a metal fork into the same outlet your elder sibling’s Nintendo is plugged into right as they’re about to beat Super Mario 64, and as your consciousness scatters across various parts of the house for a moment, what you used to call your ear drums start to percolate with harmonic information and indecipherable whispers of corrupted, digital language. That’s the kind of elite wackadoo trip you’re about to be on. And we don’t say it lightly.
Firmly grip the edges of your seat, bite on a wood block, and stream the chaos below.
From start to finish, Underwater Megaphone glides like a noisy, etheric cloud of static through headphones with fizzy booms and baps, but never really sounds like it belongs a particular genre. There are mutating field recordings, inscrutable half-speech samples, demonic dial-tone squelches… it’s like the audio equivalent to those creepy, half-sunken abandoned mall videos. Which doesn’t sound like a compliment, but it is. There’s even the occasional melody here and there, but Charger Port wisely keeps them sparse.
If you’re desperate for comparisons, there are occasionally moments here that might remind you of Death Grips, Undo K From Hot, and maybe even Yowie, but there’s something truly unique underneath that’s more important than any FFO-type thing we could attempt.
As absurd as it sounds on the surface, Underwater Megaphone seems to subliminally pull from the layers of hyper-modern tension we experienced during the pandemic-induced isolation. From riots and economic decay to political upheaval and having to face the darkest, loneliest versions of ourselves possible, the record somehow takes the echoes of all of this and manages to create a coherent, yet entirely unhinged response. Like a blooming, irradiated flower informed by the destruction surrounding it, Underwater Megaphone forges a blistering post-apocolyptic path to recovery.
If you’re looking for a rule-free zone that doubles as a safe, designated space to thrash about, scream at the walls, and wonder what the hell has been happening the last couple years without any judgement, this is it. It’s far from the emotional response we were expecting from the album, but it’s a very, very welcome one.
No, for real, we were not expecting that. From the singles we’d heard, we gathered that it was going to be a noisy, but halfway through the record we started to pick up on how it was subtly articulating the horrors of isolation. It’s far more than the digital death trip we thought it would be, and we hope you dig it / needed it as much as we did. Coming up we’ve got a slew of throwback names like June of 44, Cuzco, Cheval De Frise, and a whole lot more. Check out more Charger Port here, and charge us up with sweet, sweet Jesus juice here. Thanks for reading!