If the name Erik Chandler seems familiar it’s because he’s better known as the bassist of loveable Texan punks Bowling For Soup. But, as he makes the step into the focal point role for the first time, don’t be thinking that means the ‘Truth’the first offering from The Erik Chandler Band is going to be all rapid fire muted power chords and sophomoric humour.
Far from it in fact as Chandler brings together elements of folk rock and summery Beach Boys-style pop with just a little of a Country-inspired lyrical style full of rueful tales of lost love.
Every track is dominated by Chandler’s smooth baritone vocal delivery, something which is both easy on the ear and that has always been an under-utilised weapon in the arsenal of his day job band. From a musical point of view things are pretty consistent with jaunty, lightly distorted guitars, lively off beat strumming patterns and traditional rock and roll riffs firmly the order of the day. Admittedly it’s a simple formula but it leaves just the right amount of room for the rich warmth of the vocals to be properly appreciated.
At a time when Bowling For Soup albums have started to rather merge into each other, it’s great to see another one of its members step out of their comfort zone and experiment with other genres. The results are both refreshing and, for those only familiar with Chandler from the BFS singles, likely quite surprising too. Although in places it can get a tad repetitive and isn’t what you’d call a challenging listen, ‘The Truth’ is plenty likeable and with repeated listens has a few hidden depths to offer. Committed fans to his previous musical output will be more than happy with what they find here, while anyone that also finds a record that plants it’s flag exactly half way between pop-punk and country rock appealing are also advised to give it a listen.
‘The Truth’ by The Erik Chandler Band is released on August 19th.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)