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Chest Rockwell: Weep And You Weep Alone

I've been aware of USA eclecticisers Chest Rockwell for quite some time now, but only with their most recent EP release Weep And You Weep Alone, which follows on from the Laugh And The World Laughs With You EP, have I finally caught up with them. Obviously therefore, I haven't heard the earlier of the two EPs, but if it is as satisfyingly challenging to tie down to a style or comparison as Weep..., then it will be well worth seeking out.

To say these guys, expanded to a five-piece with the inclusion of keyboard player David Cole, jump from style to style would be an understatement, but that doesn't mean they simply lack for attention span, far from it. Just that they'd rather romp from Zeppelin through Coheed And Cambria to Rush and Cream, adding in a hint of Riverside, a touch of Wishbone Ash and a splash of the main players in Prog Metal as they merely and sometimes madly genre hop. In the end the five tracks presented still sound related, joined and cohesive, while all showing a different side to what Chest Rockwell want to do. Guitarists Seth Wilson and Josh Hines lead from the front, their excursions darting, pulsating, dancing, jabbing as beats and rhythms thunder by courtesy of drummer, percussionist, piano player Nick Rouse and bassist Nick Stewart. Hines also adds vocals, he comes from the school of sing from the heart and the results will work and he's right. His voice is never a strength, but far from a weakness and replace him with some super ranged vocalist and the effect of much of what Chest Rockwell are about would be severely diminished.

Close your eyes, hit skip and the merry-go-round could stop anywhere, whether that be the jazzy interludes to the flitting beats, manic breakdowns and spiralling guitars of "Despair, Ye Mighty", or the gently melodic and building "How Sad For You", which evolves into a soaring clash of keys and guitars as Hines pours his off-kilter vocals on the musical flames with dazzling results. Then there's the patient atmospheric strings of "Preparing To Battle With The Devil" where the Hammond B3 of Cole expertly dominates, spookily one minute, threateningly the next, before a surge of classic rock guitars heralds a wild mixture of 60s and 70s ideals squeezed into a thoroughly modern piece.

That leaves "Playin For Keeps" to land somewhere between acoustic led Porcupine Tree, The Pineapple Thief and Rush, without sounding particularly like any of the three and "Secret Asian Jam" to nick a riff from a certain Mr Page and wrap it in manic beats and confidently fragile vocals.

They're not Prog, but they sure are progressive, they aren't Classic Rock, but boy do they rock, they're not fusion, but they undoubtedly fuse styles. Whatever you want to call them Chest Rockwell are pretty damn good and not afraid to shout about it. Your voice should add to their noise.

Track Listing
1. Secret Asian Jam
2. Despair, Ye Mighty
3. How Sad For You
4. Playin' For Keeps
5. Preparing To Do Battle With The Devil

Added: August 23rd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Chest Rockwell on bandcamp
Hits: 1709
Language: english

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