Chatham Rise: KXLU in Studio Session for Part-Time Punks (Self-Release, 2016)
Chatham Rise is a psychedelic shoegaze band hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band consists of Tim (guitar, vox), Collin (guitar, vox), Sean (guitar, keys), Brian (bass), and Ben (drums). This five-piece creates blissed out psychedelic dreamscapes that are mesmerizing. On this EP, they played four songs on KXLU, the college radio station at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. They were joined by Jeff Levitz (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) on sitar/drones, adding yet another layer to their overall psychedelic feel. This is their fourth release, with two LP’s and one other EP under their belt.
“Gone” begins the session with sitar and gorgeous drones filling the speakers. The guitar is dreamily strummed as percussion is stripped down to a simple cymbal keeping time. Eventually, the bass comes into the mix with the drums fill out but are never overpowering. There’s a definite psychedelic, hazy vibe here and Levitz’ sitar work makes this even more prominent. The vocals are awash in reverb and conjure the spirits of the 60’s and 70’s. There are also moments where shoegaze influences are heavily evident but never without the dreamy, seductive pull of the hazy psychedelia. “Never” draws you in immediately with shimmering guitar and a vibrating, warm drone. Deep, tom-heavy drums pound as they thunder under the drones, sitar, and walls of sound that swirl about. About 3:40 into the track, the haze breaks a bit with sitar lines playing off driving drums and bass with spacey drones playing about in the soundscape.
“Eventide” explodes into the speakers with rumbling, fuzzy bass. Dreamy guitars and energetic percussion join the undulating bass-line with ghostly vocals floating on top of the composition. Chatham Rise’s sound is addictive and hypnotic. How this band isn’t huge already, I will never know. “Hollows” rounds out the session with a bright drone and reverb/delay drenched guitar lines. This track has the most post-punk feel to it. The vocals seem to contribute most to this feel as they sit atop beating toms. The chorus even evokes that time of British angst, as they channel the likes of the Psychedelic Furs and even some of the hazier pieces from Gene Loves Jezebel. I don’t mean to bring in comparisons to devalue the incredible music here. While there is certainly influence, Chatham Rise is clearly bringing an explosively creative expertise to what they are doing.
This four-song ep is a glimpse into what Chatham Rise is capable of and it’s exciting. Ever find one of those bands that just grabs your attention and, after listening, you just want more. Chatham Rise is a band to be watched and supported at this early stage. Their brand of psychedelic shoegaze is addictive and shouldn’t be missed!
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