CHAMBERS DELIVER SOME FUN BUT NOT MUCH ELSE ON OLD LOVE
I usually try not to judge bands by their names. Even if a name is the most cliché thing I’ve ever heard (The Red Death, Within the Ruins, etc.), the bands that have those names can still sometimes manage to serve up some quality metal. With Chambers, my judgment ended up being a bit different. Chambers isn’t necessarily a BAD name… it just seems too simple, and honestly, a bit commonplace and lacking “zazz.” Now, I don’t really think that Chambers’ name affected how I feel about their music in a negative way. But it sure didn’t make me feel optimistic or confident about their musical style.
So I was indeed surprised, at least a little, when I found myself having fun listening to Chambers. First off, I’d like to get this out of the way: Chambers are barely (if at all) a metal band. The music they play is a lot closer to punky hardcore, with a dash of thrash and a hint of melodic metal. Dan Pelic’s vocals are pretty much a consistent hardcore yell/scream with a few of those metalcore “is-he-screaming-or-singing-I-can’t-fucking-tell” breaks, as in the title track and “Tragedy.” Riffwise, the majority of the songs are composed with a heavy emphasis on power chords and Phrygian-esque licks along with a generous dash of pentatonic melody. In general, this works. And I do greatly appreciate the way the rhythm section of the band, composed of Vincent Fiore and Jesse Mariani, works together like a locked-in set of gears. But anyone looking for something heavier or just more metal, as I myself usually am, would probably be wise to steer clear of Chambers.
Anyways, Chambers still make fun music. I was on a road trip when I checked out the opening song “Pig” for the first time, and it was pretty much the perfect soundtrack for said trip – Old Love is something you can just throw on in the background, bang your head to somewhat, and occasionally sing/shout along to the chorus/gangshouts.
Unfortunately, the main issue with this album is in its variety — or rather, the lack thereof. The songs are pretty repetitive and get old quite fast, and with only a few solos by Gregg Kautz and John Pinho to break up the monotonous riffs, the music starts to blend together as one punkish blur.
Chambers have also, as is the norm with new bands, fallen into the breakdown trap. I cannot emphasize this more to new bands wanting to get out on the scene and impress people: the only fans who like gratuitous breakdowns are scene kids without a musical cell in their bodies. If that’s your target audience, go for it. But you sure are going to piss off the rest of us. At least Chambers aren’t continually stuck in the breakdown scene, although the middle of the track “The Nest” borders on unlistenable.
Chambers don’t offer anything at all new, although their music did provide me with a few hours of mild amusement and entertainment as I traveled through my home state in a cramped Mazda. I would be more forgiving had the band been a more generic version of, say, a tech death band, in which case they’d probably at least show some talent with their instruments. As it stands, there isn’t much to chew on here. Yeah, Old Love is fun, but only for a little while. Next, please.
(2 Horns out of 5)