Chadwick Station - Waiting For A Sunny Day
Chadwick Station make no bones about what they regard as a major influence on their music - Britain. After all, using a Union Flag as part of your symbolism is bound to evoke such a feeling. To a certain extent they have achieved it. On first listen their sound is similar to dozens of British bands from the late sixties and early least in me, of times and places about which I had almost forgotten. But it would be an injustice to see Chadwick Station as a mimicry of some sort of quaintly British eccentricity, even if the cover to their latest EP, Waiting for a Sunny Day, seems to evoke such sensations. There is more to Chadwick Station than that. There is more to listen to, more unfolding before you with each listen.
The EP opens with "Before Time Slipped Away" is a case in point. Now, I am sticking my neck out here in a sort of musical equivalent of Godwin's Law, but I really do detect elements of the Beatles in here - just occasionally the McCartney style of songwriting, reminiscent of songs such as "Michelle" and "Yesterday" peek through. Phew! How are this band going to live up to a start like that?
Well, Chadwick Station bring their own interpretation to this British style. It is often said could never shake off their essential Britishness. Well Chadwick Station have managed to do the same in reverse. "High and Low" comes along to remind you that gthey are American after all, that coolly looping guitar lick is definitely West Coast in the Steely Dan or Eagles mold. So, within the space of two tracks, whatever you thought you were going to find when you read the publicity is immediately put into a different light. Perhaps the track which most conjures up those images of Britishness, however, is what follows. "Leaving It All up to You" could pass for the Kinks circa "Village Green" era if you could imagine if vocalist Alvis Kensington sounded more like Ray Davies and he did not use the word "Expressway".
Well, at least there is one thing right - this does sound like nothing else. Chadwick Station will continue to surprise you. "Startin' Tomorrow" has a more rock guitar, complete with solo, and a nagging familiarity which you cannot pin down, but what the hell, why bother. Just listen and enjoy. Oddly then, perhaps the weakest track on the EP is the finale and title track. It features the least impressive vocal performance and the most middle-of-the-road sound of all the tracks on the EP. If I had to describe it one word, that word be cliché.
Chadwick Station have picked up on something which is sadly lacking in a lot of music today. Melodies. Yes, that's right. Tunes, to use a more familiar word. This EP is full of them, and memorable ones too. This will get your feet tapping and once the songs get inside your head, you will find yourself singing along long after the songs have finished. And if that is not a good place to start, then I do not know what is.
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