A parting gift from Charles Griffin Gibson, Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store is his final release as CHUCK, and a charming farewell it is.
Opting not to flip the table or reinvent the wheel on this record, all 15 tracks possess a touch of lo-fi and twee as Gibson's candid lyrics narrate DIY soundscapes. Like extended and produced vocal recordings, the tracks give snapshots into the life and / or imagination of the writer as they're spoken softly in your ear. The minimal and almost discordant nature of the music won't be to everyone's tastes, but the sincerity is endearing even is the guitar playing isn't virtuoso.
'Bodies (Studio)' is an acoustic ballad, 'Hudson' is a wavering instrumental, 'Bulldog [Interlude]' is just that, and 'Meow' is a jangling indie rock number. Then 'Oceans (Electric)' drones and 'Caroline' yearns, each track possesses a unique identity and the record jumps from gear to gear as you traverses each of these in turn. Described as a "bedroom musician" this mish-mash of tracks makes sense, although there's no doubting CHUCK could be something clean and coherent if that's the intention.
Fun to listen to in full or in parts, Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store is a fitting closing fanfare for CHUCK as it showcases a variety of influences and styles, wrapping up the story in a comprehensive way. Whilst this is the last of this moniker, hopefully the mind of Gibson will dabble in music again soon.