The Chariot

Long Live

Written by: AP on 24/11/2010 17:02:02

The Chariot are one of the most challenging bands in existence; their music at first glance a dizzying whirlwind of aural violence with no sense or direction. But the notoriety that surrounds the band stems from their vehemently confrontational live performances, and consequently in order to understand the purpose of the music, one needs to have personally experienced one of their infamous concerts. The Chariot are the first ones to admit their music is specifically designed to be played live, and that the only reason they continue to write new material is to facilitate playing more shows. In this context, the band's latest offering, "Long Live", is thus little more than an excuse for getting to lay waste to even more venues across the world.

But while such an approach to writing music would feel alien, possibly even superficial, to most recording artists, The Chariot beg to differ. The band writes music that pushes, motivates and moves them on stage, and the inevitable result is that what you hear on their recordings is what you get live, too. "Long Live" is a live album without being a live album: its packaging consists entirely of photos taken by fans. and every second song is named after some of the band's biggest supporters. It was recorded live and subject to a a three-take rule where the band limited themselves to three run-throughs, regardless of what came out. And what came out includes every accidental screech, unpolished neck slide, and an unfathomable amount of feedback that cuts right down to the bone. Straight out of the gates you're hit with a wall of the stuff on "Evan Perks", foreshadowing the massive slab of feverish vitriol that follows.

Songs like "The Audience", "The City", "Andy Sundwall" and "The Earth" are so unforgivingly furious; their dynamics so jagged; and Josh Scogin's psychotic inhales and exhales so charged, that one fears KC Wolf will put his bass guitar through your window any minute and dangle from your living room light rig, slamming your chest with a pair of your rib bones like a tom-tom. As such, the intense devotion to religion and profound lyricism about growth beyond the earthly realms accompanying, are probably not the most obvious asset to strike out from "Long Live", but contrary to what you might expect from the nature of the music, lyrics are not simply an afterthought.

And like all their albums prior, there is no skimping on baffling twists to the cacophonous noise, either. The sudden implosion of "Calvin Makenzie" into a jarring, '50s pop ditty about Atlanta borders on comedy, as does the disturbed spoken word poetry, courtesy of Listener's Dan Smith, in "David De La Hoz", which, by the way, also features Timbre playing harp. Then there's "The Heavens", which sounds like it's being played backwards, and album closer "The King" with its trumpet, collective percussion and weird, extraterrestrial ambience. Once the astonishing noise fades out, you are left empowered, like the few hours of adrenaline high that succeed this band's concerts.

"Long Live" translates the physical violence and manic passion of a Chariot show to record like no other album in the band's repertoire. It's The Chariot experience through your speakers, delivered through ten brand new tracks of triumphant chaos. The only downside is that in being an even more visceral discharge of madness, "Long Live" is unlikely to earn the band any new friends. But then again, as long as us the converted keep dragging our virgin pals to the shows and teach them to expect the unexpected, The Chariot will continue to reign as the most intense live act known to man. And this, of course, means that more albums will have to be written in order that the band may continue to tour with relentless abandon.

8

Download: Evan Perks, Calvin Makenzie, The City, David De La Hoz, The King
For the fans of: Beecher, Botch, Fear Before, Norma Jean
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.11.2010
Good Fight Music

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