19 September 2023

CHITINUS MANDIBLE – Chitinous Mandible (2023, Cassette Self-Released)




Label: Bandcamp, Self-Released

Format: Album, Cassette, Limited Edition, Pro-dubbed cassette w/ a unique hand-drawn cover for each copy, 24 copies

Release Date: 30 June 2023

Now, what we have here is a totally unknown artist to me (at least) called Chitinous Mandible. The only information that I managed to come across is that Chitinous Mandible is Tom Herman Jr. and he is a New Jersey-based musician, previously releasing his music through Bandcamp under the moniker, Old Smile. So, to cut a long story short, through my ‘Bandcamp Agent’ (thanks Dylan), I became aware of this self-released cassette. The cassette includes just 8 tracks and it kicks off with “Covered Bridge”, a strange mid-tempo tune filled with Neo-Psych and an unorthodox kind of lo-fi pop-psych with ‘stoned’ vocals, guitar outbursts, and peculiar drumming… “Connection In A Parking Lot” is a groovylicious upbeat track with a kind of an ‘erotic’ funky-psych-afro-beat… “Summertime Drive” is a short song (2:08min) with an eerie psych beat, buried echoed vocals, and really strange instrumentation… All shorter tracks here, act like musical ideas that somehow were left uncompleted, maybe on purpose? Who knows… “Unknown Twin” (2:04min) is a song like this, an ‘unfinished’ track, a beautiful piece of pop-psych art with a slow beat flirting with progy-psychedelia… “Scratch Of A Pen” is a Neo-Psych tune with an intense Funk-a-Delic Afro Beat, a Groovy bassline, and for once more a very complex time signature, Love it! “Time Design”, is another short (2:05min) PSYCH tune drenched into weirdness while “Wheels, Pinions, Arbors” – that happens to be my personal favorite – is a splendid remarkable astounding piece of Modern Neo-Psychedelia, with a lysergic hypnotic soundscape and narrated vocals, reminding in a way the dark atmosphere of Jim’s “The End”, but after a while the track is being transformed becoming a Groovy Neo-Blues-flirting Psych tune and you’ll have to blame harmonica for this… The last one is called “Everlasting Love”, another slow piece of modern bluesy neo-psychedelia with soft and warm vocals and a dream-alike environment… I forgot to mention that all 8 tracks here are accompanied by fantastic art videos (you can find the links to the Bandcamp page), so you’re advised to listen and watch… I’m sure, this will have different and more notable effects on your brain… Chitinous Mandible is now added to my watch list, I’m curious about his next moves, and I can only imagine what this guy could accomplish with the ‘company’ of a band!!! TimeLord Michalis



1 Covered Bridge 3:10
2 Connection In A Parking Lot 4:04
3 Summertime Drive 2:08
4 Unknown Twin 2:04
5 Scratch Of A Pen 3:00
6 Time Design 2:05
7 Wheels, Pinions, Arbors 5:00
8 Everlasting Love 3:03




Listen / Buy through CHITINOUS MANDIBLE Bandcamp


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