by marissa bea

Melodramatic indie/rock/alt-super band, Schocholautte (pronounced Shock-O-Lot) has come out with their first, real, official EP, all bar coded and ready to sell in stores. At the risk of sounding completely cliché, Schocholautte is, without a doubt, the greatest new band you’ve probably never heard of. The three piece combo, consisting of Jersey man, Captain K, Orlando native, Michael P!, and Artie, rocking straight from Thailand, all came together by way of craigslist and bonded in the little borough of Brooklyn.

Artist: Schocholautte
Song: Gone

What does the music sound like? Well, it has been likened to the Pixies, the Violent Femmes, cereal eating, loud gay sex, and tons of other outrageous things. But it’s not so much the other bands that come to mind when you hear Schocholautte, but the feelings you get. Michael P! writes the music and lyrics and much of his inspiration comes from his life, growing up going to Catholic school and Disneyland, often in the same day. The band’s photographer (and MP!’s Bonnie to his Clyde), Haley Jane Samuelson, creates all the imagery for the entire band persona. The music informs the art, which informs late night conversations, which informs more art, more music, more and more, and becomes this wondrous, complicated circle. Ducks, bunnies, skulls, dinosaurs, and chocolate all figure prominently, along with an overarching feeling of this odd, bubbly melancholy.

The music is insanely catchy, and you find yourself happily dancing along to songs about suicide or depression, which is quite the brilliant mind-fuck, and well played by a band who looks a whole lot more clean-cut than the music sounds. And in some ways they are; no drinking before shows, no drugs or smoking (ever). These guys are serious musicians, and to top it off, they’re unpretentious, a rare thing to come out of Brooklyn sometimes.

They don’t need to play-act cool, because the caliber of the music speaks for itself. They all once did the starving artist move, came to NYC to pursue a dream and seek their fortune. Lucky for us, they are still on the up and up, with only visions of success on the horizon. I have YET to hear a song I dislike, and for a group with an enormous repertoire, that’s quite a feat.

It’s impossible to pick one song from Oodles of Charm to single out, because each of the six songs is intricate and mind-blowing in its own way. From the sweet sentiments of “Water on the Coast,” to the guitar-heroism of “Mercedes Benz,” they are masterful, one and all. Not only is the EP available on iTunes (among other places all over the interweb), but they play every Monday night at Niagara Bar as part of Alphabet City Soup, a music/variety show sponsored by the Antagonist Art Movement.

In all seriousness, don’t just listen to the music on myspace; live shows are where Schocholautte truly excels. Be it because of MP!’s charmingly awkward stage presence, Captain K’s frequent video game factoids, or Artie, who just rocks like there’s no turning back, they know how to amaze, even in the smallest of spaces. Live shows are the best way to get the EP too. Keep one eye on these gentlemen at all times. They are an experience you need in person. Need.

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