First things first - Borderland is full of elemental things. Waves crash against the shore. Mountains meet the sky. The stars appear above so close that you feel The Chevin's lead singer Coyle Girelli could reach out and touch one with his soaring, multi octave range. Make no mistake, if ever environments shaped a body of work, both the chilly pine woods high above the band's home town of Otley and the Texas desert where it was recorded are deeply embedded here in almost every note. If ever you wanted to describe a record as the opposite of urban, Borderland would be your exhibit A.
Such are the economic realities of the music industry that the three week recording stint for it were due to affordability rather than 20 hour sessions played until fingers bled. Despite the deadline however the band seem to have revelled in the pressure and results sound far from rushed. Opener Champion is already well known to American talk show viewers, a pulsing hybrid of no lesser than Duran Duran and War era U2, harnessing many of the same influences as Mr. B. Flowers and sounding as melodramatic and stadium ordained as anything from the Las Vegan's early cannon.
The four piece - as well as Girelli Mat Steel (guitar), Jon Langford (bass) and Mal Taylor (drums) - admit only to being aware of The Killers rather than owing them any conscious debt. There are moments when the melodramatic flair and their powerhouse rhythm section make this sound like a very brave rebuttal, but the country twang of Blue Eyes and the epic spaghetti western histrionics of the title track go a long way in addressing any prejudices.
Continue reading: The Chevin - Borderland Album Review
Albums of Note... Breaking away from their successful sibling recording partnership, Angus and Julia Stone have both begun releasing equally impressive solo material and this week, we take a look at Angus Stone's latest solo album, Broken Brights. Angus' song writing nods to classic rock legends such as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Johnny Cash. A highlight of the album is the track 'Apprentice of the Rocket Man,' the description of which makes it feel like it may be worth buying the album for this track alone: "The ability of this track to transport you to another world is quite incredible. If you want to experience weightlessness without passing the NASA exam or forking out the $200,000 for a Virgin Galactic flight then sit back, close your eyes and become immersed in Angus Stone's quite brilliant tune."
The second album released by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros is being reissued by the Hellcat record label. Global A Go-Go was an exciting foray into world music for the former Clash frontman and his band of merry men. It was the last album released by Strummer before his death in 2002 but the reissue is light on feeling like a cash-in, on Why?at would have been the year of his 60th birthday. Musically, the Mescaleros were many a world apart from The Clash, but the emotional anger of punk remains. It's an instrumental track, though, that proves to be the focal point of Global A Go-Go: "A 17+ minute reworking of a traditional Irish Folk song closes the album. 'Minstrel Boy' is a perfect way to bring the curtain down as it ebbs and flows like an improvised jam session around a campfire. Featuring a wealth of disparate instruments it brings together many of the musical ideas to be found on Global A Go-Go into one track."
Since Contact Music spoke to UK band The Chevin, their highly anticipated first album 'Borderland' has been released and they have returned to the US to continue touring with various other American bands.
It seems America has become their second home, yet it's their first home for success as, in a reverse turn of the standard fate, their popularity grew infinitely more rapidly over there than at in their native England. This is due, in large part, to their appearance on the massively popular David Letterman Show earlier this year, which bolstered their exposure enormously. But why have they found so much more success over there than at home? Why have neither Jonathan Ross nor Jules Holland given the young Yorkshire lads a little look in?
While we can't vouch for the decisions of Ross or Holland, but the mere sound of The Chevin is far more suited to the Amercan indie scene than what's going on in Europe. The Chevin really do sound a lot like The Killers, or, more precisely, lead vocalist Coyle Girelli really does sound a lot like Brandon Flowers. It's not merely the range that's similar- which the band themselves put the comparison down to- it's Girelli's tone, as well as the set up of the band. Comparing the opening of The Chevin's 'Drive' to Flower's 'Only the One' and the similarity is laid bare- in absolutely the most positive way.
Ahead of the UK release of their much anticipated début album Borderland, Contact Music caught up with Jon and Matt from Otley based band The Chevin just before their (Almost) hometown show in Leeds at the Brudenell Social club.
Contactmusic: How are you feeling at the moment?
Jon: Tired! We're half way through a tour with the Psychedelic Furs in America. Saturday night we were in Seattle, flew back overnight on Sunday, then we went to London to pick up our gear this morning - we were up at 4 a.m.
CM: How are the Furs to tour with?
Matt: We've only done three or four dates with them but they're really good guys. The crowds are great. We think that The Lemonheads are going to join us when we get back.
Continue reading: The Chevin - Interview
Looking out from the vantage point that is Surprise View on Otley Chevin you can almost imagine that you're seeing all the world; hundreds of metres above the Wharfe Valley which stretches out beneath it like a miniature patchwork of fields and houses, this slab of millstone grit which has stood looking roughly the same since the last Ice Age simply dominates the local skyline.
Continue reading: The Chevin, Champion EP Review