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Chest Rockwell: The Existentialist

Chest Rockwell don’t do things the easy way. They never stay the same and yet they still somehow retain a coherent message in everything they do. Well, I say ‘they’ but in reality we mean Josh Hines, for he, it would appear, is Chest Rockwell. His ‘truth’ for The Existentialist, as we join a mystical shaman as he seeks to travel through time and hit reset on The Earth to cure its ills, is the riff, the whole riff and nothing but the riff. Well, and of course some cool guitar lines, hammering drums with smashes of cymbals and a collection of seat of the pants vocals. Oh and the riff, did we mention the riff?

You could call all of this post-rock or some such thing but in reality what this album really becomes is an extension of the man creating it. There’s a clear message that we’ve lost our way and are not listening to reason, or nature, as we ruin the planet and focus on all of the wrong things. However, there’s also a very individual style in telling this story, with big chunky guitars that many a band would take into a more expected end game, instead steered away from the obvious.

Whether through the chugathon of “Locus Of Control”, or the more broad expanse of “Horns Of Dilemma” and “Bystander At The Switch” there’s a path being created from movement to movement and a clear intention throughout. At times things can verge on becoming overwhelming, after all there’s not much of a circuit breaker on this album, and yet, allow the sheer will behind “I Was The Traveler” and “Transference Interference” to carry you along, and they’ll transport you right into the middle of the maelstrom.

There’s no compromise here and seldom any interest in anything other than staying the course - although the synth infused “The Other’s Look” does offer an unexpected alternative stance - but then that’s the strength of Chest Rockwell and on this evidence it shows no signs of wavering.

Track Listing
1. Horns of Dilemma
2. Bystander at the Switch
3. Veil of Ignorance
4. Salience of the Actor
5. Acceptance of the Absurd
6. Locus of Control
7. Transference Interference
8. The Other's Look
9. I Was the Traveler

Added: April 2nd 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Chest Rockwell @ bandcamp
Hits: 826
Language: english

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