If This Is Their Weirdest Album Yet, Well Hell, Let’s Get Weird
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Label: Good Fight
Rocks Like: Converge, Heavy Heavy Low Low
Recommended Track(s): First, Speak
Chaotic, spastic and completely unstable, with The Chariot, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Coming at us hard and heavy with their fifth studio album, The Chariot knocks our expectations out of the park with some unexpected swings. One Wing is sure to catch you off guard, the same way love at first sight would– or getting hit by a bus. The Chariot stayed with the familiar, and put One Wing in the hands of Matt Goldman, who has produced every Chariot studio album to date. Trusting a friend who will throw in good ideas when needed and let the creativity flow when the freaky starts to fly was undoubtedly the best decision to make for the recording of One Wing.
“Self described as their weirdest release to date, I have to say, I absolutely agree.”
Sending a Tweet to Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins frontman, requesting his participation in a new album began the recording process in May 2012. Unfortunately, to the dismay of many, Corgan in no way became involved in the album. Fortunately for us, the album still delivers (with not an ounce of hesitation) a swift kick in the ass for anyone listening.
The album artwork foreshadows the unconditional insanity contained within. A 10-song track listing, which forms the sentences “Forget Not Your First Love. Speak in Tongues and Cheek.”, only slightly suggests that you may have started to unravel the many layers that compose One Wing.
“Forget” introduces the album with the typical ferocity you’d expect from The Chariot, leading you into “Not” with an ominous riff, slowing it down to create an almost horror-esque feeling, the song climaxes and ends with Josh Scogin, The Chariot’s vocalist, dropping his famous scream to sing the final verses- sounding of a deranged, desperate man, the finale being just a touch of spoken word. The song is an absolute masterpiece.
Following “Not”, “Your” is your first WTF moment of the album. A southern sounding hymn sung by a female. It stops you in your tracks with beautiful harmonies backed by an organ; the lyrics asking, “What if we close our eyes? What if we don’t wake up?” It’s calm and soothing, then “First” hits you like a brick through your window. Suddenly crashing back to the thrashy, out of control riffs and Scogin’s screaming, until it transforms once more into a Western soundtrack. Think Clint Eastwood, and all those badass cowboy flicks; add gnarly vocals and you’ve got one of my favorite tracks on the whole album.
“Love.” brings back that ominous haunting feeling, setting you up for the dark and brooding “Speak” which features Scogin and a simple a piano. “In” screams at you to “Shake it off/ Work it out/ Bury it/ Love is all you need” picking up the tempo once again with chaotic guitars and a heavenly synth led by David Kennedy’s crushing drums. “Tounges” breaks it down fully for you, with a piano interlude mid-song, until the guitars burst in with the perfect tone, worthy of face-melting status. The album wraps up with “And” ending on thought provoking note with “Cheek.” featuring Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech from “The Great Dictator”.
An incredible album, The Chariot does not disappoint. The inclusion of samples, and an array of genres creates the kind of confusion that only intrigues the listener and inspires an addiction-like craving for more. There is an air of sadness and desperation that accompanies the music and the lyrics. The ability to provoke emotion from the listener is the marksmanship of a true musician; transforming music into art.
This album not only marks an evolution of The Chariot’s sound and a demonstration of their true artistry. It also marks the first studio album to not feature Jon Kindler, long time bassist since 2007’s album The Fiancée. Guitarists, Stephan Harrison and Brandon Henderson, both covering bass. An official replacement for Kindler has yet to be announced, and recent publicity shots have been representing the band as a four piece. We’re sure that something is in the works as The Chariot is scheduled to tour with Cancer Bats followed by a tour with Every Time I Die and Letlive at the end of November.
The album has definitely climbed to the top of the ranks of The Chariot’s previous releases. Complex and thought provoking, One Wing, is much like a good horror movie. It sneaks in when you least expect it, then leaves you desperately hollow and wanting more. If this is their weirdest album yet, well hell, let’s get weird.