Surrey’s Chisel Beeches displayed early on that they are not a band who take themselves too seriously, and that is a trait to be valued. From amusing early artwork to several commendable DIY videos, the quartet are clearly enjoying making music. Can that always be said of the arena-filling titans?
‘Last In, First Out’ is the second EP release from the band in 2016, and they continue to cut their teeth with a lively – if unabashedly derivative – melodic alternative rock sound. April’s self-proclaimed ‘mini-album’, ‘In A Week, On A Whim’, delivered five tales of teenage angst and rainy-day musings that hardly explored new ground, but introduced Chisel Beeches as more than capable of producing a solid tune. ‘Last In, First Out’ follows largely the same sonic blueprint, and moves to address slightly more grown-up troubles.
The most immediate track is opener ‘Friday Night’s A Lie’, its sharp melodies combining with just the right amount of ‘heavy’. Lyrically it is a familiar tale of the ‘long queues and spinning rooms’ of underwhelming nightclubs, and a girl who makes it all bearable. Meanwhile, ‘V.I.P.’ is surely the first song to address the pitfalls of falling for a ‘horny girl’ who exists only in scam emails. It’s refreshing to find genuine amusement in alternative music, and many a po-faced, leather-jacketed band out there should take note.
Humour aside, ‘Never Know’ is evidence of a keen ear for a chorus and a confidence to mix up time signatures. ‘You Know I’m Right’ also alternates between 4/4 and ¾ time, and the band have revealed that the two songs offer contrasting perspectives on the same tale of an unhealthy love affair.
It’s this lyrical inventiveness and penchant for storytelling that Chisel Beeches should hold onto at all costs. Musically they clearly have the ability and potential, but in time they will learn to refine their sound to be more sure of itself. ‘Last In, First Out’ sees a band who could, in time, become a splash of colour in a sea of grey.
‘Last In, First Out’ EP by Chisel Beeches is released on December 16th.
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)