Review: Chillamundo’s “Radio Is On,” One Day Marathon Blasts Release Party

Chillamundo lead singer Denver Williams at Green Audio. Last leg of one day marathon. Photos Credit: Juan “Johnny” Govea

By: Lance Sanders

I met Denver Williams and Charles Marchbanks almost 4 years ago. At the time they were in a band called Chingalotus, which featured Charles Marchbanks on Bass guitar and Vocals, Josh Garcia on Drums ,and Denver Williams on Vocals and Guitar. I still listen to their CD when driving my fiancés car because it’s stuck in her CD player. For that I am grateful.
When Josh left the band to go on a life altering journey which has now brought him to S. Korea the band and his friends were pretty tore up over it. I love Josh and so does anyone who has spent 2 seconds with the guy. What happened next for Charles and Denver has been nothing short of Credit: Juan R Govea

Flash forward to now. Denver and Charles have started a new project called Chillamundo featuring two new members Nick Tittle on drums and Neil McAlister on guitar. Coincidentally, Denver was introduced to Neil from Josh Garcia, who had played in a band with Neil in high school. From there Neil introduced Nick to Denver and the band was rounded out.

After only playing a few shows around town the band took on one of the most daunting tasks I’ve ever seen any local band do. 13 shows in one day. The event was titled the Chillamundo Marathon. They played everywhere from a Coffee House to a friends backyard. The guys gave it they’re best shot but fell just short due to Denver getting sick from heat exhaustion. Still, the band played 10 shows in one day. Amazing.

Photo Credit: Johnny Govea

Chillamundo focused mostly on recording they’re new album in their first few months of being a band at Ft Worth’s Cloudland Studios. There was tons of anticipation leading up to the bands album release party at MASS which happened on Friday September 15th. 

When the band began they’re set there were bubbles and balloons flying all over the room. The show had a very special feeling about it. There were smiles everywhere. The band started off playing non stop for the first 5 or 6 songs. The band not only looked like a group that had been together for years but also looked to be having the time of they’re lives. Jumping up and around the stage with some of the best enthusiasm I’ve seen a band have in years. The songs were played damn near flawlessly. This will be one of the shows I’ll remember for a very long time.

Photo Credit: Johnny Govea

The album titled “Radio Is On” brings the listener to an experimental wonderland. Each song has a different vibe proving that the band can take on many different shapes and sizes by not limiting themselves to a specific genre. Adeline, the second track on the album, weaves through a love twisted tale about the goods and bads of a relationship. It speaks to the tortured soul of an artist that’s just trying to stay alive. The guitar solo swallows you whole. The 5th song on the album, titled Trip, guides you through a psychedelic wonderland with lyrics like”Red Birds And Blue Birds Inside My Head/ She Kept A Pistol By Her Bed” sung with the longing of a hopeless romantic whose afraid to let go of something or someone that they once held dear. The album itself is a rare local masterpiece. 

I caught up with Denver and had the chance to ask him what was next for the band. “Well we’re back in the studio already and working on a new record with a different pace and attitude.” When I talked with Nick McCalister the words “Close Bond” and “Cohesive” were thrown around regularly in reference to the new project. I’m sold.

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