SoCal skate punk quartet CHASER return with their eagerly anticipated new EP ‘Look Alive’. Featuring two new exclusive songs, the 7″ EP was limited to just 333 copies worldwide and sold out within a day of being released. facebook.com/chaserband
333 x Blue/ Clear / Gold / Red vinyl w/ Splatter
CHASER – Look Alive
Now twenty years into their career, skate punks Chaser sound as blistering as ever on their 2020 release ‘Look Alive’. Although only a two track 7″ release, its pair of songs acts as a sharp reminder of the SoCal band’s blend of high octane riffs and social commentary driven lyrics. Released at a time when the world appeared to be falling apart – mass protests in the US suggest an urgent need for a change of government and a global pandemic pretty much wrote off the year – their messages of unity and togetherness are exactly what’s needed.
Shrill rhythm guitars topped with a dominate lead kick off ‘Look Alive’ before the track drops into a classic, classic skate punk sound. At full speed, the drums and guitars combine to evoke strong memories of the finest Pennywise and Strike Against material, though a general tightness within the already familiar arrangement and a stronger sense of melody within the vocal makes this superior to both. The track is barely out of the starting blocks before frontman Mike LaDonne delivers the crux of an important message: “Fight the proud, all sing loud | A song for equality” he booms, before suggesting the world is: “a work in progress” and it’s only a story we can finish when we’re in unity”. Giving the riffs and the message a real boost, a whole world of harmony vocals and whoahs call back to peak NOFX from the ‘Punk In Drublic’ and ‘Heavy Petting Zoo’ days, further making this a hook filled, punky belter not to be missed, There are no lead breaks; no extra flourishes and no musical showboating – this is solely about a great riff and an important message. With a brief hardcore breakdown and the second half of the track stoking up the whoahs and making sure the huge hook is delivered again for maximum impact, this could be one of the best punk tracks of the year.
On the flip side, ‘Found Myself Again’ is a little more melodic hardcore and a little less skate-orientated, but with a superb chugging riff colliding with a snare drum on the instrumental breaks, a band with a huge power is still evident. The bigger shift towards hardcore shows off a superb rhythm section throughout, but drummer Davey Guy is especially sharp when dropping into a heavier groove, while lyrically, its messages of turning points, change and of needing strength and recovery demonstrate why Chaser are smarter than so many other punks.
Although there are times where Chaser sound like at least three other punk bands you’ve known and loved for some time, they play with enough energy and conviction to make their contributions to the scene really count. This is a release not to be missed… and with all band proceeds being donated to four different non-profit organisations you know these guys aren’t just all talk.
CHASER – Look Alive
California’s Chaser have just unveiled their brand new EP, ‘Look Alive‘, that feature two brand new tracks, the EP’s title track and ‘Found Myself Again‘ on the flip side, that was released on four long sold out coloured vinyl variants via the American imprint Sound Speed Records, Canada’s Thousand Islands Records, Austria’s SBÄM Records and Australia’s Pee Records. The band are donating 100% of their proceeds from the ‘Look Alive‘ EP to four non-profit organisations who are fighting the good fight, Crisis Aid International, Equal Justice Initiative, Educational First Steps and Surfrider Foundation.
The A-side features the ‘Look Alive‘ EP’s title track, this is just over three minutes of straight up in your face skate punk with a social conscience, on the flip side you get the faster, ever so slightly poppier and catchier ‘Found Myself Again‘, whilst from the same stable this is a different beast to it’s sibling on the a-side. Both tracks feature woahs aplenty, chugging guitars riffs, intense breakdowns and heartfelt lyrics, but as you’ve probably gathered Chaser don’t just talk the talk the talk, like many band’s on the punk scene during the coronavirus pandemic, when it must be recognised that most band’s have taken a huge financial hit due to being unable to tour, they walk the walk.
The older punks amongst you, and I include myself amongst that number, will remember when a two track vinyl release was called a single, but the world has moved on and I’m not going to shout into the void over this. Whatever you want to call it, the ‘Look Alive‘ EP contains two tracks, either of which could happily grace the a-side, and it contributes to making the world a slightly better place, what more could you ask for? You might have missed out on the vinyl pressings of the ‘Look Alive‘ EP, unless you’re willing to trawl eBay where a lot of limited vinyl seems to end up with an inflated price tag, but it’s not too late to pick up a digital copy of the single.
Thoughts Words Action
CHASER – Look Alive
Look Alive is the latest effort by Chaser, a renowned skate punk group originating from Orange County, CA. It’s been a while since they released their previous full-length Sound The Sirens, which has been recorded back in 2018. Therefore, admirers of their energetic approach to melodic punk rock awaited this material with anticipation. This group characterizes the inexhaustible passion for the nineties skate punk music, so Chaser has always been into pacey rhythmical acrobatics, straightforward melodic structures, anthemic choruses, and passionate lyrics. Just like on their previous recordings, Chaser are more than ready to deliver another dosage of sincerely performed skate punk music.
This 7” carries one song per side, Look Alive on A-side and Found Myself Again on the B-side. Look Alive commences with a classic chord progression, so characteristic for the nineties melodic skate punk music. The main riffage serves as the overture that leads into vigorous polyphonous structures. The number continuously levitates somewhere in between melodic hardcore and skate punk sound, the comfort zone where Chaser undoubtfully dominates. Backing vocals are supporting lead vocals throughout the entire composition, but they’re probably mostly hearable at the profoundly dominant verses and pre-chorus segments. The basslines on this one are completely insane, and generous servings of thoughtfully composed bass scales are undoubtfully lifting the ambiance on the entirely new level.
Found Myself Again emanates in much more moderate tempo than a previous number, but the drumming performance includes a comprehensive collection of various acrobatics, arranged according to appealing guitar shreds. The group liberates a hymnic vibe during the entire composition, and it seems that Found Myself Again is even more detailed than Look Alive. Guitars are bursting with classic bare chord interpolations and fast palm-muted guitar riffages. However, the melodies are still lurking around through powerful vocal dualities and singalongs. This number includes extraordinary arrangements that are resembling old school melodic punk rock, which was probably the intention of the group.
Look Alive represents another brilliant release by longstanding practitioners of melodic punk rock music. Like their previous records, this one shines bright with remarkable musicianship and top-notch production. The numbers are precisely structured and thoughtfully arranged, so you’ll solely enjoy these tunes. Look Alive comes in various color variants, and you may find it at Thousand Islands Records, Sound Speed Records, SBAM Records, and Pee Records. According to some rumors, Look Alive is sold out, but check out these labels, maybe you’ll find some available copies.
Rawing In The Pit Media
CHASER – Look Alive
Chaser keep the 90s melodic punk candle burning so bright it may burn your whole house, an possibly the neighbours as well. These guys just do a brilliant job at extracting the essence of of 90s californian punk and producing music of the highest quality. Found Myself Again is that quintessential rapid fire, 100mph 90s skate punk and honestly I felt a little chaotic after I gave it a listen.
It just has the quality that all good music in this genre has, something that can’t really be described but if you are a fan of this type of music you will know the feeling. It is that feeling of your heart pumping the blood just a little quicker, you get a bit warm and for some unknown fucking reason you kind of just want to jump around and throw hands (in a safe and responsible way).
The beautiful vocals layered on that classic sound make this track another classic by Chaser. There was never any question on if this legendary band was going to drop another stunningly written and produced track but this exceeds expectations.
04 Sept 2020
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CAT #: PV030
Recorded & Produced by: Paul Miner @ Buzzbomb Studios in Orange, California.
Mixed & Mastered by: Jason Livermore
Edited by: Andrew Berlin & Jonathan Luginbill @ The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Artwork by: Sebas Theriault @ Sterio Design.