It’s certainly a cracked mind that can create It’s Broken!, a record whose seven tracks appear to have been chipped off just as many separate LPs, scattered, and then taped together in whatever order they landed. Opener Brown Skinned Girl chugs along with a rockabilly stomp and wobbly vocal that sounds like Wayne Cochran fronting The Beach Boys; The Van Man, however, is a disco missive from a shaggin’ wagon-driving sex pest who seems to think that being a sexual predator warrants a jaunty melody, jazzy sax and laser synths. Jungle Talk is a wordless instrumental, going for atmospherics with sampled animal noises and layered synths.
These sorts of incongruities – both between and within the songs themselves – places Chance alongside the likes of Gary Wilson in the pantheon of twisted seducers. Recorded in California in 1980 and privately pressed on Morrhythm, It’s Broken! is almost a West Coast answer to the East Coast’s Wilson at a time when the latter was withdrawing from music. Yet while Wilson’s missives are far more solipsistic, daring you to look into his mind, Chance actively tries to engage you: the nine-minute title track marries wah wah guitar and synth runs, inviting you on to the dancefloor. Perhaps madder than the record itself is that this actually works. A Chance meeting sticks in the mind like a haunting.