REVIEW: Chase The Day – Tabula Rasa

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Chase The Day are a London-based band who are about to drop their debut album Tabula Rasa. You might be thinking, much like we were, what the hell does Tabula Rasa mean? After the quickest of Google searches we can tell you it means “an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals; a clean slate”. That gives you an idea of how the band were feeling when writing the album- trying to keep it fresh without pressures of music industry expectations weighing on them. What does this mean for the album? Well…

It’s boring. Take lead single ‘Pariah’, for example. It opens with a pretty good riff; actually, we can dig it, but then swooping backing vocals come floating in, distracting us a bit too much and introducing our lead vocal line, which sounds disjointed. We blame the drums- the syncopation on the snare is a hindrance to the groove of the verse (for those not down with the terminology, syncopation is essentially displacement of a beat). This can work well in the right context, but here it just makes it feel uncomfortable. The song has a big chorus with lots of backing vox, but it doesn’t break the mould- which isn’t a crime (or maybe it is, when the album title suggests a feeling of mould breaking…) The best moment is the outro, and a wicked riff and a change of feel leaves us wondering: why wasn’t more of the song like that?!

The album’s midriff seems to go through some sort of identity crisis with songs that don’t particularly resemble each other. ‘Damage Done’  is laid-back, ‘Rats In My Cellar’  is an odd one- we can’t really see any reason for it to be there, other than to appeal to the self-proclaimed “outcasts” out there. Towards the end of the record that original riffy sound comes back in ‘Honey Pot’ & ‘Dig’ and it’s a welcome relief.

The stand-out track for us is ‘Seed’. It’s simple, it’s well-written- listen to it, you won’t regret it! The rest of the record, though, falls a bit flat; Chase The Day sound like one of those bands MTV were pushing back in the mid-’00s to try and get pop kids to venture into heavier music and, while that isn’t the worst sound in the world, it just isn’t for us.

Tabula Rasa by Chase the Day is released on September 9th.

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