Remember how underground “collectives” were in vogue in the late 1980s and early 1990s? They especially took hold in the underground scenes. In New York City, a new scene emerged that took on the traditional folk rock scene: anti-folk. While one might not necessarily categorize Box Of Chocolates as willing participants in that scene, their sole album, Fearful Symmetry certainly shakes up the status quo.
Box Of Chocolates operated in a shroud of mystery. One had to accept that they might never know the identities of Brute Rake, Mickey Hawaii, and Will Oliphant. What listeners could determine–albeit a few years later–was that Oliphant was Will Oldham. His distinctive and instantly recognizable voice can be heard on “Garbage Barge” and “Stigmataphoria,” an angelic sound rising from the depths. Aside from his recognizable croon, the non-Bonnie moments here remind us of Bongwater (the band, not the liquid) and the Shimmy-Disc label. In other words: lo-fi bursts of song, the occasional wacky hip-hop experiment, and music that sounds better when you’re stoned.
Whether or not that’s a good thing–your mileage may vary.
Purchase Box Of Chocolates Fateful Symmetry: Drag City