Is it reductive to describe a band’s sound by naming a bunch of other bands who have clearly influenced them? Chaser wear those influences so proudly on their sleeve that it’s almost inescapable and I think they’d be fine with it. These guys keep the 90s melodic punk flame burning brightly. Right from the get go, opener, The Uprising, lets us know what kind of territory we’re in, with 1 minute and 12 seconds of Bad Religion meets Pennywise, 100 mph punk rock. The Pennywise feel continues into At What Cost with some nice gang vocals thrown in for good measure. Next track, Nightmares starts with a slightly slower paced NUFAN feel with a chorus which recalls moments of Today’s Empires era Propagandhi.
As the album progresses through Silencer and Bonfire, you stop hearing the influences so much and start to get a real impression of Chaser’s own sound. They do a great job of distilling the essence of their Californian punk forefathers and, after 18 years of fighting the good fight, their musicianship and song writing is at a very high level.
Let It Die mixes up the vocals with bassist Jesse Stopnitzky’s gruffer vocal contrasting nicely with the cleaner vocal from Mike LeDonne and for me this is one of their stand out tracks. The Show is an anthemic ode to the humble punk rock show, with a musical arrangement on the chorus that I could swear I’ve heard before but for the life of me I can’t work out where. Wars is a stripped down guitar and vocal affair which juxtaposes well to the rest of the album. In a live context, this song will give the band and audience a much-needed chance to get their breath back! The respite doesn’t last for long though as we launch straight into Bet It All, a near perfect slice of fast paced melodic tuneage. Penultimate track, A Million Reasons, has an early Rise Against feel and album closer, Woe Song, rounds things off nicely. Sound The Sirens was mastered by Jason Livermore at the legendary Blasting Rooming studios and there should a be a label announcement for this release imminently (Editors Note: I gave this album to Nick to review before telling him I signed the band to DS Records).
For the past few years Chaser have been on a bit of a hiatus however anyone who was a fan of their previous releases will not be disappointed with this album and it’s sure to win plenty of new fans too.