"The Chumps were a white-hot late '70s combo from Washington DC who featured Rob Kennedy, later of the Workdogs, and the Dreyfuss brothers, who also made up the brass section at the time for the newly-expanded Maryland-based version of Half Japanese. And if you, like me, worship at the altar of that period of Half Jap', then the sounds of the Chumps will light a fire in your part of the neighborhood. The Chumps sounded a lot like Loud-period HJ: all scratchy guitars, half-step rhythms, No-Wave sax bleets, a sturdy backbone in classic garage rock a la Stooges/Troggs and total geekoid lyrics about hanging out at the shopping mall w/ nothing to do. Hmmm... you know, that sounds exactly like Half Japanese from the time, and musically, you could probably stick a Jad vocal track on much of this and you'd fool even the most die-hard fan, though the Chumps had a bit more punkish angst in them than Jad, the delivery and style a little less rooted in a romantic pop sensibility.
Best of all, the songs here really stick in your craw. Primo rock 'n' roll with roaring sax throughout, spilling off frequently into free-jazz chaos, sometimes going off the deep end, sometimes reining back in. This kinda music is my idea of a good time: a bridging gap between the worlds of ecstatic jazz and no-frills garage noise, and I ain't saying this is as good as Funhouse - if I did you wouldn't believe me (because for one, it wouldn't be true), and I'd blow my cred with such a ridiculous comment - though it's obviously borne from the same template as that wondrous disc, and if you are partial to classic American '70s rock of the No Wave/Stooges mold, then this high-calibre ripper gets a 5-star recommendation from me.
This is by no means a mere curiosity in late-'70s punk-rock Americana and deserves a higher status than it's previously been afforded (after all, even I had but merely heard of the band before being handed this very CD): it's a CD I've been playing all week and shall for a long time henceforth! Super-nice full-colour fold-out digipak, extensive liner notes, flyer repros, the whole nine yards. A nice bloody job, if ever there was."
(dave, manwithoutshame blogspot)