Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Chelsea Smiles-s/t


This band started in 2004 as the brainchild of Todd Youth (ex-DANZIG). The band released an EP one year later with Christian Black (ex-Dee Dee Ramone band) on vocals. Their first album, "Thirty Six Hours Later" was with Skye Vaughan Jayne on guitars and vocals. However, they soon ran into a line-up change as Skye left the band. So RJ Ronquillo soon joined, he is an in-demand studio player. He met Todd Youth through the various studio work that they have both done in the L.A. area. So that brings us to their second album which is also self-titled. Now this is my first exposure to the band so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. The cover of the disc had me thinking of a circus poster due to the band logo, the colors and the animated poses of the band members. That's fitting somehow because much like a circus these guys are loud and a lot of fun. They take us back a few decades as I hear KISS, Ramones, New York Dolls and Misfits stirred into the pot. The guitar sound is particularly appealing with plenty of grit pouring out of every chord. The choruses are instantly memorable and help you to feel like you really know this album after just one listen. The production does enough to compliment all the instruments without stripping away too much of the raw edge of the music. The disc runs around forty minutes, but the upbeat feel and steady tempo made it seem shorter than that. No, it's not very original and I am not sure if it has any really staying power, but for right now this disc hits the spot. After hearing so many lifeless drones, clones and lackluster zombies this is certainly a breath of fresh air even if it's just for now.

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