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Better Days Will Haunt You

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Riffs don't just color in the white space of Chavez songs. They smudge, suffocate and swipe at everything within earshot, while screaming for attention with a sound that's as sharp as a new, rather expensive set of kitchen knives. Which is exactly what made Matt Sweeney's (Guided By Voices, Zwan, Superwolf) breakthrough band an instant indie rock superpower — a get-in-and-get-out whirlwind of capacity crowds, talk show appearances, and two hit Matador LPs in two years that outsold such legendary labelmates as Pavement and Yo La Tengo. And by outsold, we mean both albums literally went out-of-print years ago, making this tidy double album overview of the entire Chavez canon a must-buy whether you're a college rock archivist or a casual Nirvana fan that plays Nevermind once a year. It's funny how well the material has aged, actually, at least compared to most of the alternative rock that came from the Clinton years. With drums that pump like pistons and Sweeney's acid tongue eating away at every guillotine guitar chord, songs like "Break Up Your Band," "White Jeans" and "Repeat the Ending" sound as paranoid as they are poppy. In other words, they're perfect.


Formed: 1993 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The angular indie rock unit Chavez was led by singer/guitarist Matt Sweeney, the former frontman of New Jersey's Skunk. Following the group's demise, Sweeney joined the New York band Wider, which included onetime Live Skull drummer James Lo; when Wider dissolved in 1992, Sweeney began playing with ex-Bullet Lavolta guitarist Clay Tarver. Lo joined not long after, and with bassist Davey Hoskins, Chavez cut its first demo recordings in late 1993. Following Hoskins' exit and the recruitment of bassist...
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Better Days Will Haunt You, Chavez
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