7inch Sunday: Cuckoo Chaos – Super Skeleton

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

Cuckoo Chaos is a challenge to peg down. The San Diego quintet’s recent White Iris release covers a good deal of stylistic ground in its brief runtime and does so without wearing thin; however, the blend of elements on the two tracks is a baffling mix of instrumentation, effects and genres that leaves us pleasantly perplexed at the group’s intention. While easier to accept the uncertainty and move on with life, we have combed this sonic landscape and found Cuckoo Chaos’ 7” to be a treasure trove well worth the extra time.

The cover of the single is a jarring blend of vibrantly-colored coils spiraling into nothingness. With the run-off groove serving as part of the artwork, the sleeve and vinyl combined create the cohesive accomplishment of entrancing onlookers with chaotic swirls. While a multi-colored splatter vinyl would have trumped the status quo black and taken the concept to the next level, we can forgive them because the design is so damn cool.

“Super Skeleton” begins with an introduction that feels like it came right out of the soundtrack to Ocarina of Time’s infamous Water Temple. The dreamy synth licks pierce through the midrange and hold fast while a slew of instruments enter the scene; frequent hi hat rolls, surfer guitar bends and vocal harmonies masterfully intertwine with the preexisting sonic trickling. This is all interrupted by the guitar effect cocktail that punches out some blistering squeals and dismantles the track’s serenity. “Super Skeleton” wraps up with a return to the floating, Zelda-esque jam, offering a wide array of stylistic deviation.

The B-side of the record, “Shanghaied,” draws from themes akin to the prior track, but does so with more cohesion. Drummer Dave Mead fervently occupies the backdrop of what is otherwise an easy-going song with a style combining haste and purposeful fills. The chorus soars over the percussion with an ascending guitar riff that seemingly comes from nowhere in particular. Overall, the Super Skeleton single juxtaposes the best features of cohesion and discord, calm and hectic, and is a great introduction to the group.

Check back next week for a look at Sun Glitters’ Mouth.

We're looking for writers and editors to join the team. Interested? Apply today!