This album from Royal Chant has been a fair while in the making. With two EPs and a single under the name Sickboy (and a move across the world between), followed by a name change and another two EPs the debut album is finally with us! Like many debut albums form bands who’d already released several EPs beforehand this record’s track-list has the appearance of a Greatest Hits so far release with 5 of the 10 songs being released in the previous EPs put out both by Royal Chant and Sickboy. However this is anything but a rehash of hits and memories. Instead they have redone the old tracks given them a new lease of life and made them sound even better than before (which is no mean feat as they all sounded great to begin with). There’s a bigger sound than before that is more raw and more energetic. At the same time there is a greater musical depth with a lot of interesting background effects adding to the massive wall of sound.
Shatters Alright sounds louder, more aggressive and much more raw than the previous version on the EP as a result the music has a lot more depth and life to it. The energy exerted in Ghosts is amazing and immediately makes you wish there was a mosh pit in your living room for you to jump around in while the band belt out their tune. At the same time they manage to keep the catchy and poppy vibe that the previous version has making it work as a great sing-a-long tune! Other is the albums major highlight that sees the band peak in passion and emotion. What was previously released as a striped back acoustic tune is now a massive blast of raw hard rock with each member putting every bit of energy they have into the amazing sound.
In addition there are some previously unreleased tracks. These include the the energy filled garage rock anthem Hey hey sounding like R.E.M. did some 25 years ago. Peterograd is a loud and aggressive track complete with some solid shoegaze undertones. Bored awake has a raw post punk sound that sees the members all belt their music out with a heap of grunt. A series of sighs is a heavy grunt/alt rock tune sounding like old school Sonic Youth mixed with old school Nirvana. There is a heap of loud distortion that climaxes at the end with a chaotic rock out. Syndrome is a short and sweet punk rock tune reminiscent of the Rammones or the Stoogers that sees Mark Spence belt out a massive growl.
This album sees Royal Chant at their very best. They have taken some of their best songs from their past releases and somehow managed not only to make them sound fresh and new but also make them all sound better. In addition they have shown off 5 new tracks that are equally powerful and energetic. Together this makes for 35 minutes of hard hitting garage rock with no weak moments or padding. Once you’ve experienced this release you too will want to raise your glass.. and then collapse!