EP Review: Chalk Hands – Burrows & Other Hideouts

Chalk Hands Burrows and Other Hideouts Cover

Brighton crew Chalk Hands are newcomers in the scene, channeling the likes of Pianos Become The Teeth, Caspian and Envy to offer two songs in a mixed screamo/post-rock style on their début release, Burrows & Other Hideouts.

First song “Burrows” commences with a solemn, softly picked guitar passage, before transforming into a monster. It’s a blistering, furious ode to paranoia and deception, with heavy passages alternating against instrumental segments. The instrumental parts provide breathing room, a break from the anger. But strong emotions dominate the entire way through.

Likewise, “Arms” kicks off strong, offering intense catharsis. It’s a sombre affair. Gang vocals deliver the line “weakness is no curse”, but self-doubt still rings through.

The intense style of music draws strong comparison to modern hardcore acts like Octaves and Defeater, with instrumental post-rock elements breaking up the songs, similar to Winters Dust. The energetic delivery makes the songs seem short. They are fast paced with busy drumming, but the songs both last longer than your average hardcore jam.

Following the idiom of quality over quantity, Chalk Hands offer a short, furious taster of things to come in the vein of many other modern hardcore acts, yet stand out enough to avoid becoming clichéd.

Chalk Hands Burrows and Other Hideouts

Burrows & Other Hideouts will be released on the 25th of August through Future Void Records, available as a digital download, CD or tape.

Chalk Hands links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chalkhandsmusic

Bandcamp: https://chalkhands.bandcamp.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chalkhandsofficial/

Joseph James


Album Review: FVNERALS – The Light

FVNERALS, The Light - Album Cover

FVNERALS is a band hailing from Brighton, UK, who have asked me to give my thoughts on their debut album, The Light, before its release on December 1st. I probably live as far as physically possible from Brighton, so how they discovered my blog, and why they would want an amateur like myself to review their work is a mystery. But I feel quite chuffed that someone would seek me out to ask for my opinion, so I’ll honour their request.

Their Bandcamp profile offers the genre tags such as “dark ambient”, “drone”, “post-rock”, “shoegaze” and one I’ve never heard of: “slowcore”.

According to FVNERALS guitarist Syd, his band has drawn comparisons to the likes of Earth, Shannon Wright, Chelsea Wolfe, Beach House, Monarch etc… This would possibly give me an idea of what FVNERALS sound like, if I had actually heard of any of those artists. I think I recognise elements of Isis and My Bloody Valentine, but I feel that may be misleading. I’ll offer some other comparisons as I go.

FVENERALS are dark. If the band name wasn’t gothic enough for you, check out at the names of their labels: Throne Records and Eerie Echoes Records. Have a look at that album cover and tell me it’s not spooky. And of course, the music itself is haunting and unsettling. To be honest I’m surprised that they’re releasing the album at the beginning of December, rather than end of October, because it would make a perfect horror Halloween soundtrack.

Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes comes to mind when I picture the music being performed live. I saw her front a Mars Volta side project called Bosnian Rainbows early last year and I swear she was possessed. Her voice may be pretty, but I got the chills watching the way she staggered and contorted her body in such an unnatural manner as she sang.

The Light is eerie and sparse. It reminds me of playing a 45rpm record at 33rpm.  This makes the sounds drawn out, warped and sluggish, because the audio becomes down and distorted. Don’t get me wrong, the music is still recorded clearly, but it is soooo slooooow and stripped down.

The music is dark, distorted and droning. It is the sound of paranoia and nightmares. Much of it reminds me of that Godspeed You Black Emperor inspired track that was used so effectively in Danny Boyle’s game-changing zombie film, 28 Days Later.

If you want a taste of FVNERALS you can check out http://fvnerals.bandcamp.com/, where The Hours EP is available for free download. Two tracks from forthcoming album, The Light, will be made available for streaming on November 3rd.

Joseph James