Chase Long Beach

Gravity Is What You Make It

Written by: PP on 27/10/2009 17:26:39

I'm not exactly sure why Chase Long Beach have named themselves after their home town of Long Beach, California, but I guess having 'beach' as a part of your name when you're a summery ska-punk seven-piece doesn't hurt. Their debut album "LeBeC", produced by Reel Big Fish's Aaron Barrett, attracted Victory Records' attention a short while after its release in 2007, which is why the band can now be found on everyone's favourite label to hate for no reason. Okay, there are a few legitimate reasons, but in all seriousness the label has a bunch of awesome bands signed. The new album's called "Gravity Is What You Make It", and here's what I think about it.

The record starts off with an up-beat track "Pall Mall Price Crisis", highly dosed in bouncy bass and guitars with an overload on cheerful horns, trumpets and trombones that combine for the perfect soundtrack to your summer. It's October now, but I'm sure that since it was originally released in June, a whole lot of people were driving on convertibles around the states listening to this record given its popularity. References to bands like Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, Big D & The Kids Table, Suburban Legends and even Mad Caddies are scattered all across the record, although Chase Long Beach doesn't necessarily sound precisely like one of them at any time - partly because their singer is female. "We've Got Pockets Like Nobody's Business" is another guitar-heavy, fast-paced ska punk anthem, and as I'm going through the album I get the feeling that Chase Long Beach are at their strongest whenever they integrate a quick ska beat, some horns and trumpets, and melodic choruses. The slower tracks like "The Beginning" don't work as well, perhaps because they lack the fun-oriented feeling of tracks like "A Diamond Bullet To Brain" (featuring Catch 22's Kevin Gunther on trumpet). Luckily, the scale leans heavily towards the faster songs on the record, so for most of the time, it's party time, big time.

One track that sounds kind of weird in comparison is "Where's My Time Stick", however, which starts out like a typical ska/punk song, but around 2 minutes in it transforms into experimental post-hardcore guitars that wouldn't feel out of place on The Fall Of Troy's "Doppelgänger". It's the only instance where it happens, so I can't quite figure out why it's there, but it sounds good nevertheless. Aaron Barret provides a guest guitar solo on "Useless" (at least I think it's during the solo where he appears), but overall the track's merely decent instead of making a huge impression like the four other tracks mentioned in this review. In fact, that's a problem with the rest of the tracks that haven't been mentioned. They're decent ska punk, but in all honesty, you'll be returning to the four highlights time after time. Still, good stuff.


Download: Pall Mall Price Crisis, We've Got Pockets Like Nobody's Business
For the fans of: Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto, Big D & The Kids Table
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.06.2009
Victory Records

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