Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chalmers - Four Songs

01. Utah
02. Biting Lip
03. Settling
04. Map's Lost

Chalmers exists as the twisting, technical, frenetic phoenix that rose from the ashes of Pennsylvania greats We Were Skeletons. While the four songs on this first release could be viewed as a continuation of the "Slint meets Hoover meets screamo" patterns of We Were Skeletons, it would be a disservice to not view Chalmers as it's own beast entirely. The opener 'Utah' is a slow burn, using heavy, discordant guitar hits to carry heartfelt lyrics. The intro riff to 'Biting Lip' is among the catchiest things Justin Pallas has written, and the fraying, tense vocal delivery positioned atop this catchy foundation creates a cool balance. There are echoes of Fugazi here as well, in the ways that Pallas shouts "I'm feeling automatic, like I'm out of control. I'm out of control – I'm listening in". 'Settling' takes a step back, creating a slightly more somber, almost desolate western vibe. All the tension is still very palpable in all these tracks, as is an urgency that propels the release forward. The last lines of closer 'Map's Lost' paint a dreary picture ("Fuck it - abandon ship. All hope is dead and gone"), but this is surely a promising start for Chalmers as they push forward into a full length.

Reviewed by Justin.

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