In an attempt to embark on the double album concept while also maintaining their indie EP releasing status, Port Macquaire’s Royal Chant have found their happy medium with their second full length album / double EP. Much like a vinyl album the album is split into two distinct parts, each with its own (sub) style and feel and each with it’s own name and cover.
The Small Town Bruises CD sees Royal Chant put forward tracks that are slick and tight while also having that raw, rough around the edges feel that the band have been known for. The songs are slightly longer than their previous work allowing the feeling behind the songs to take a stronger hold and be more realised.
The CD opens with the chaotic minute long B-movie credits. There is a barrage of noises merged with some eerie chanting before suddenly stopping. Following from this is the grungy rock pop sounds of I’m so sorry. The track has the slick neatly packaged feel while also having a rough and ready exterior. Mr Spence’s vocals starts cool and calm gradually getting more aggressively desperate with the yelling “I’m so sorry me I’m so sorry!”. New Nowhere has a very early REM feel to it with the vintage punk rock rounds tinged with some Nirvana-esq grunge noises to give it just a little bit more grunt. Oh the shame works as the album’s ballad. The slow and low guitars create a melancholic wall of sound reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr with some loud bursts of noise put in for good measure. Flat feet picks up the tempo taking things back to the old-school REM sound with a pace based beat and low roaring vocals. The EP closes with the slow grunge sounds of Shake, Shake. The track brings out the raw and rough feel to the front, paired with the chants of “Shake shake shake shake..”
A day at the Wauchope Races has a louder and slightly deconstructed sound to it with the shoegazing / no wave atmosphere having a larger part in the mix. While the previous CD has a tight and slick feel to it, CD two throws this all out of the window with the loud angry “f**k you” sound blasting out!
The CD opens with the calm and catchy sounds of Ulysses. This sees the signature RC guitar sound coming through only this time in a more cool and measured way. Day at the races is a energetic thrashing tune that brings out the excitement and frustration of following a horse race, although it works for any sporting event really. Unrecognizable Blues consists of three minutes of rough and raw rock and roll full of grunt! They have managed to get that raw live atmosphere you get from a gig and blasted it out! Mark Spence’s dry and raunchy vocals further add to the chaotic energy that is being displayed! This is full on pub/garage rock at its best! The CD closes in contrasting style with the quiet and stripped back Daybreak. The sombre and chilled out feel works as a great finish to the loud roaring from before.
Royal Chant have continued their charge while also taking on some new ideas and sounds on the way. The band have managed to put out some tight radio friendly tunes, along with some louder, aggressive moments resulting in an album that provides the best of all worlds!
Check out Royal Chant’s Facebook page to find out more!