Make Your Appointment with Doctor Robinson

The indie rock scene has been injected with the much needed Chilean vitality of Doctor Robinson, led by vocalist and bassist Andres ‘Zpok’ Chinchon, drummer Esteban Alvarez, and guitarist Christopher Timmerman.

Photo by Kendal Montgomery
Photo by Kendal Montgomery

The band was the brainchild of Chinchon and Alvarez after a musical collaboration for a theater piece at Universidad Católica in 2001 and eight years of musical evolution later, the group has come out with their first album, Hipnotizate.

Photo by Kendal Montgomery
Photo by Kendal Montgomery

The title represents the band’s reflection on the effect technology has made on society, the idea being that a world full of televisions and computers has lulled people into a hypnotic state that has them alienated from each other and separated them from their roots in nature. As suggested by a recent feature in Rolling Stone magazine, the world has snapped out of its trance and opened its eyes to the gem that is Doctor Robinson.

The crowd at La Batuta for their official launch party was pumped by tracks from the newly released album, but rather than whipping up the crowd into a mindless, bobbing frenzy, the band composed an atmosphere that was both groovy, enhanced by psychedelic-with-a-hint-of-mod lighting and down to earth, heightened by Andres’s soulful warble, Christopher’s vibrant strumming and Esteban’s steady musical heartbeat.

The first song of the night, Flashback, set a steady, thrumming pulse that snapped the crowd out of their trance, creating a sea of swaying bodies. The shifting dynamic kept everyone in constant anticipation, the mood flowing from the playful, almost satirical tone of We Latinos to the painfully heartfelt No Llores Nena, a slow, powerfully rhythmic melody whose heartache needs no translation.

Photo by Kendal Montgomery
Photo by Kendal Montgomery

Following next was their second single Mirar al Sur, an infectiously upbeat diddy that splashed warmth into the smoky club air, like a ray of sun breaking through cloudy sky. Later came the band’s first single Encuentro Inexplicable, feeding the upbeat ambiance with devil-may-care revelry.

The band almost wrapped up the night with the album's title track Hipnotízate, the riffs of which mimic the swinging pocket-watch of a Victorian mind doctor as he commands you to close your eyes; luckily, our session was followed by electroshock therapy with the group’s rendition of Electric Feel by MGMT, which left the crowd jolted and wanting more.

Doctor Robinson knew the crowd wanted more and, in a show of appreciation, each member pitched a copy of the album to eagerly awaiting hands. You can check out the band for yourself this Thursday night (July 1) as they perform live at Club Mist (Avenida Suecia 0152, Providencia) with invited band Portugal. You can also check these guys out on their MySpace page and find their music videos on YouTube.

Doctor Robinson

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Club Mist
Avenida Suecia 0152
Santiago, Chile

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