Commander Chameleon
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Commander Chameleon

Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Commander Chameleon"

If you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s just a matter of time before some big print magazine names them “The Best Band You’ve Never Heard”. But I’m going to beat them to the punch. It’s Athens, Georgia’s Commander Chameleon, a band that could very well reserve a spot amongst the other Athens luminaries REM and The B-52’s. With a very ambitious 28 tracks on their self titled disc, there’s bound to be a song for everyone.

Mastered by John Keane, whose previous clients have included The Cowboy Junkies, The Indigo Girls and hometown boys REM, it’s a very slick sounding album, rife with political, religious, environmental and social commentary, as well as pop culture references, set against elaborate arrangements. If Primus with a jamband twist, a surfer vibe, and a hint of early Barenaked Ladies sounds appealing, you’ll probably like Commander Chameleon.

“Pink Telephone” is a particularly catchy track, with dark lyrics against an airy, near-psychedelic music bed. You won’t be able to stop yourself from moving along to “Gravediggers” and “Freedom Tickler”. The acoustic tracks “Figure of Speech” and “Rubberhole” are a nice contrast to the more electronic sound of the other songs on the album. Lyrically, the album indicates this is a well-read band, very much aware of what is going on in the world around them, and they’re prepared to make their voice heard in an accessible format. They’re opinionated, but their tongue-in-cheek approach makes you listen to what they have to say.

My best suggestion is to sit down with your favourite beverage and listen to this album from beginning to end at least once. If anything, it’s an experience. And some of you may even go back and listen to at least a few of the tracks again.

4 out of 5

Mellisa Giramonte(Toonage Magazine) - Toonage Magazine 12-06

"Getting Strange"

October 23rd, 2001

By John Citrone

“Have Your Cake and Fetus, Too.” If it’s not the best recently released local album, it is indeed the most creative. Never taking itself too seriously, Jacksonville’s COMMANDER CHAMELEON delves into bizarre humor and original songwriting with its latest endeavor, certainly to the dismay of mainstreamers in dire need of sing-alongable ditties.

Album opener “…Proem,” featured on Planet Radio’s weekly Native Noise program, is a soft and disturbing piece recalling John Lennon’s more out-there endeavors. “Andy Artichoke” has a country death swing feel while “Attic Song” is a ride on a demented carnival carousel. The Beatles influence is palpable again in the latter. “Rabid Stillborn” is a Zappa-esque sound montage, chilling for its juxtaposition of verbal elements, which include samples of a man contemplating suicide, a woman describing the inner workings of a penis, and the repetition of the words “pink baby” and “Raymond Finstermacher.” The piece unfolds like a Willy Wonka nightmare only to collide with the mock rap “Vivacious Honkey,” a white boy parody of hip hop taken to the extreme. “Decrepit Old Lady” is another chiller—the lament of an elderly woman begging to be dispatched, thus sparing her the miseries of age discrimination as her bones become brittle. “Soy Boy” is the albums’ last ‘official’ song, a light experimental piece that melts into cacophonous laughter, drops out for a good three minutes of silence and returns with a swell of noise recalling various tunes from the record. Finally, buried deep in the album, is a disjointed dialogue between a tortured house husband and a Baptist preacher backed by a sweet, redundant guitar melody. It’s a fittingly strange conclusion to a weird and wonderful record geared toward the open-minded. Band members Sir Lady Laughterbirth (Dave Williams), Leroy (Ritchie Williams), Heeb 3PO (Matt Tamisin), and Beebleknob (Brad Metz) should be quite proud of this most unusual offering. It’s damn freaky. - Folio Weekly

"Commander Chameleon"

"There's a pretty good crowd and first up is Commander Chameleon. True to form, the five-piece is mixing it up--big time-- between punk-ish pop rock, calypso, floating, dreamy pop, rap and spacey surf mania, with some great bass shredding. The three guitars are the sonic front for the band, and drumming and keyboard/synth duties seem to rotate depending on who's needed up front on vocals. There's a plethora of funky styles employed by this young and talented bunch of musicians who have a warped-and slightly juevenile- sense of fun. You might guess that's true from song titles like "Down with Disney" and "TV Makes My Dick Hurt." The band draws on a manic menagerie of influences from Mellencamp to Mercury and Marley to Eminem." - Flagpole Magazine 2005


Have Your Cake And Fetus Too-LP 2001
Vivacious Honkey- EP 2002
Brick Beach- EP 2003
Commander Chameleon- LP 2006
Probe-EP 2007
Cow Song- Honorable Mention 2003, John Lennon Contest
Indie Week 2006 Finalist, placed in the top 8 out of over 400 international bands
Vivacious Honkey-2004 Man Down compilation cd
White Dog- 2007 Indie Music For Life compilation cd
Brick Beach-2007 Rabblerouser compilation cd
Annual Athfest participant



Commander Chameleon plays rock music that adds a little humor and a little experimentation. The two singers Brad Metz and Ritchie Williams have complementary styles that create a unique sound. Flagpole Magazine describes it as " Ween meets a Georgia- fied Dead Milkmen. " Ritchie Williams delivers a pleasant voice with lots of melody, while Brad Metz delivers a lot of energy and a little humor. Band members switch instruments on stage in a very festive life performance. The main influences are Ween, The Beatles, Pavement and The Butthole Surfers. The 3 member band has been together since 1997. Through the years Commander Chameleon has written over 100 songs, released 4 independent records and received continuous local radio play. In 2006, the band placed in the top 8 at Indie Week in Toronto, in which several international artists were involved. Commander Chameleon is currently working on an album, playing live shows and promoting in hopes of quitting their day jobs to spend time doing what they love.