Street: 04.01

Chalk = Stephen Malkmus + Guided By Voices + Plumtree

Hey kids, remember the ’90s? Pete & Pete were your favorite Petes, Topanga was a perfectly normal-sounding name and Lori Beth Denberg was the wisest person you knew. Well, Chalk is all that. With their self-titled debut full-length, Chalk creates a sound that is total ‘90s indie rock nostalgia—there’s Britpop, indie pop, a bit of twee, plenty of Rivers Cuomo (especially on “Joke or Numb/Flare,” for the Weezer fans)—it’s a grab bag of the sounds of an alternative ’90s childhood. It’s not an album of pastiche, though, because Chalk absorbs these influences, shuffles them and reinvents that ’90s sound all on their own. “Pipes” is a fantastic Britpop-influenced song, “VHSOD” has a great Sonic Youth energy—you’re gonna want to listen to “500 Days of Bummer” all summer. – Christian Schultz