Friday, August 31, 2007

Review: Giving Chase - A Cheap Print of a Masterpiece

Label: Jump Start Records

Released: June 19, 2007

My first reaction to Giving Chase's A Cheap Print of a Masterpiece was that it was appropriately named. A cursory listen to the first few tracks seemed like just another band traveling down that worn and rutted road of screamo. Certainly they have all the elements, but a better listen also showed that they had much more. While the road may have ruts, Giving Chase isn't caught in them.

The first thing that's apparent with Giving Chase versus the many other bands that seem to be going their way is the sheer energy of the album. With few breaks, this album maintains a breakneck pace that few could maintain. There are a few points where they try to be quiet and delicate and those moments don't really succeed in providing anything other than a breather. When at full speed though, they are tight and intricate with melodic flashes. With vocals contributed by four fifths of the band, the call and response shows a lot more breadth than the typical sensitive-versus-enraged that now seems so contrived. Often the vocal arrangements are layered adding tension in the detail that is evident in ways you can't quite put your finger on. The guitars provide both hardcore crunch and metallic riffs with parts both dissonant and melodic and it all rides on the back of a relentless rhythm section. The bass lines are the punch while the crisp drumming is alternately straightforward and complex as a perfect traveling companion to the guitar approach.

While the album occasionally falls into a standard hardcore rut, they don't stay in it for long. It is the interplay of all the parts, four singers, two guitars, bass and drums, that keeps Giving Chase on the unworn part of this road well traveled. It is on this part of the road that the few bands willing to tread there find even more dangerous pitfalls, disorganization, lack of focus, trying to play over their heads; but on A Cheap Print of a Masterpiece, Giving Chase avoids them all.

Rating: 8/10



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Blogger taotechuck said...

As someone who doesn't know the nuances of this genre nearly as well as you do, I don't hear anything that makes these guys stand out. I almost feel like, because you know and like the genre, you're cutting them too much slack. Your review reminds me of people who would say Winger was a third-rate band traveling down the same old road, but Slaughter, now those guys were really finding a new path down that road.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

If anything, coming to this blog gives me amusement with your sparring sessions with Chuck!

Again, I like the cover of this album as well

6:55 AM  

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