499M is Chrys Berryman. He comes from New Zealand and these days it seems he's more of a music hobbyist. He gave up playing bass in bands about twenty-five years ago and hasn’t released much music-wise besides his self-titled EP 499M. His EP is a complete DIY effort which was recorded on basic consumer gear. The recording quality is about what you expect, far from a professional studio with all the imperfections that digital gear provides. Luckily Berryman keeps it simple relying on guitar and vocals. That being said the recording quality varies from song to song which is a sure sign of a DIY effort.
I couldn't make out a lot of the lyrics but of what I could seemed pretty tongue and cheek. He doesn't seem to take the songs that seriously which I appreciate in a lot of ways. This makes a little sense since he was a stand-up comedian.
He opens with the title track which is pretty, melancholy and bizarre. The guitar riff is simple and pretty. You also hear what sounds like an alarm and a kid sort of singing along with him. Berryman repeats the words of the song. I honestly have no idea what the song was about.
Up next is “I Can Live With That” which revolves around a couple of basic chords. The song grew on me. Something about the inflection in his voice, the ambiguous lyrics and rawness of the track worked for me. It was a highlight.
Unfortunately, “Pissing Off Our Patio” takes a pretty notable dip in volume and the recording quality isn't as good. All things considered it was another song that grew on me. There was something I liked about the music which was hard to pinpoint. I think it reminded me of Guided by Voices in some way.
“Bury Me In An Elephants Graveyard” is a great name for a song while “Vern Cracknell Came To Our House” has a bit of a rock n; roll edge to it.
I have to admit I wanted a little more than a strummed guitar and vocals on the album by the fourth song; I needed some diversity. In this day and age it is usually not enough for me unless you have great fingering picking skills and an exceptional voice.
499M is far from perfect but is still a solid DIY effort. There is something endearing about these songs however. They feel authentic without an ounce of pretense. Something that most mainstream music lacks.
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