Chainflower – The Broken & Lovely – EP Review
Big riffs and distant-drums echo throughout the first tune on the two-song EP from L.A.’s rock-band Chainflower, “Lewd Blues.” With just as much in common with classic-rock as it has with modern-day relevance, “Lewd Blues” stands-out for its combination of blues & rock wrapped into an alternative-style that’s near the edge of grunge without breaking fully through to be a copy of anything really. It’s almost like Led Zeppelin-meets-the Facelift-era of Alice In Chains…and then toss in the stylistic and precise-attack of Erika Renee on the vocals…I guess that gets us close enough to start this review up… We could go with something like L7-meets-4 Non Blondes too…that might work…
In any event, they combine these elements of melody, rock & aggression in perfect doses. Kelly Wheeler – who has worked with the likes of Jane’s Addiction, PsiCom, SexTapes & more, puts the heart into “Lewd Blues” with mean, meaty riffs and a thumping kickdrum to start this EP, setting the perfect stage for Erika to tear-up the microphone with her sleek & sexy, complete-rock approach. She matches the energy and perfectly as the gears grind together and “Lewd Blues” kicks-in. If anything…the opening track is one of those tracks where the verse is outworking its chorus 2:1 at the very least…the hooks through the winding-riffs of Wheeler make everything about the sounds your hearing stick to your brain. The chorus amps-up the heaviness, but doesn’t really take the song anywhere from where it began with the insanity, melody and shred-heavy verse. So…bit of a toss-up on this opening…the performances are perfect, the parts are flawlessly-played…but I think this tune serves as more of an appetizer for what they can really serve you.
Proving that theory almost instantly, they combine something closer to Queens Of The Stone Age with their Led Zeppelin-influence and create a true heavy blue-rock pounder with the second track “Hell’s Roll.” Definitely a huge-groove in this tune, the drums come alive a little more with Brandon Pertzborn’s heavy feet and big-hits filling in the sound around the main distorted-riffage and solid bass-lines from Eliot Lorango. Chainflower attacks this last tune with swagger, style and a pure love for heavy-rock with real, tangible grooves and big hooks. Great tones in the guitar of this tune…the crunch of the distortion on them is great, the mix is solid…you can hear this is a band that work extremely well onstage.
It’s BIG…for two songs long, Chainflower is definitely hitting it hard with The Broken & Lovely EP. As I mentioned in the intro, they’ve got a great set of ideas and execution that really combine for a great inter-dimensional mix of classic & modern-day rock. With heavy grooves deep-set like your favourite tracks on a vinyl-record – definitely seems like Chainflower are ready to rock wherever the music takes them – and with gripping, ripping & shredding sounds leading the way through both the music & vocals – you’ll be sure to follow.
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