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I had only heard of Chaser two and a half months ago. Picked up their LP “Numb America” immediately after hearing the songs they had posted on myspace. I gave it a couple spins, was brought back to the 90s era of Bad Religion and Pennywise–the kind of music I grew up to, the stuff I listened to when I’d road trip with my dad. Nostalgic stuff, y’know?
So, of course I was stoked to hear about their follow-up release, “The Big Picture”.
I pre-ordered the album, and then went to see Chaser play in San Luis Obispo. That energetic show got me even more pumped for this release. And now I have my hands on this AMAZING album.
I really cannot stop listening to it.
This is melodic punk rock. I mean, these guys really know what they’re doing. A vast improvement on what didn’t necessarily need to be improved. Everything sounds cleaner, and the songs transition smoothly.
Being a writer myself, I always go through albums reading the lyrics. And the main question for me is, “What is the ‘big picture’?”
Well, I’ll let you figure that out on your own. I’ll just say, the album art is a BIG hint.
The lyrics are smart and thought-provoking, something that is a big thing for me when I listen to music. Yeah, the music can kick butt, but if the lyrics are slop…that’s just lame. I need meaning and emotion in the music I listen to.
“The Big Picture” delivers.
And this is a fun album. It gets me and my friends pumped. And there is variety: in tempo, in style, and in singing. What really stood out to me in this album is the guest appearance of Authority Zero’s Jason DeVore in the song “In This Together”. The song slows to that of reggae/ska, and you have the guest voice to compliment that.
And then you have the acoustic gem “My Promise”. WOW. This is not–repeat NOT–the cliché acoustic Swing-Life-Away-esque wannabe radio hit. This is sheer beauty, reflecting on personal life. Listen to the section after the song, and I dare you to not feel a little piece of your heart tremble.
With a release like “The Big Picture”, Chaser has a future ahead of them. This is smart music. This is the product of a band doing what they love, and it shows in the brilliant execution of each of the 12 tracks. Check these guys out, you will not regret it. Support them, they have good heads on their shoulders.
Recommended if you like: Pennywise, Bad Religion, the Offspring, older Rise Against.
Recommended tracks: “Nevermore”, “In This Together”, “More Than You Know”, “My Promise”.
So, final verdict:
-As stated earlier, these are smart lyrics, not pissed-off nonsense ramble.
-This is by no means a big budget, well-known production, and this is not a bad thing at all. In fact, I’d argue the lower production is ideal. No unnecessary bells and whistles.
-This is melodic stuff. It’s a fusion of technical metal, and four-chord power chord punk rock. So, you have repetitive stuff that doesn’t get old. Make sense?
Replay value: 5
-Upon first listen to this album, my friends and I were like “WOW! Let’s hear that again!!!” Spinning it again as I am typing this review.
Overall Rating: 4.625/5…uh, let’s round that up to 4.75/5.
I’m listening to it again. And again.
Boy, was I surprised to hear this CD. Great job, guys! Totally worth it. Looking forward to your next release.