Photography by Andrew Benge©
Rooted in the Post-Punk tradition, Leeds band Chest Pains hit the road with a less-is-more aesthetic; it's guitars you can dance to and simple, punchy production techniques which capture the truest sounds. But will this be enough to stand out from the rest? Third Outing finds out...
There's a real buzz right now. Chest Pains are a Rock band, plain and simple. And if you go into this record expecting nothing more than that, then of course you'll be pretty pleased. Blood Pumping bursts and buzzes out loud, with bright riffs and squalls of feedback. It's all knitted together by Sam Robinson’ bleary, strained voice. A perfect match for the perfect Post-Punk sound.
This first single from the EP Bath Bandits exposes the basic rock elements of Chest Pains; sharp and fast guitar riffs, punchy momentum and driving tempos. It's an EP made up of five of their favourite songs to perform live, and so naturally the EP captures the energetic intensity Chest Pains have to offer. But then Chest Pains are more than just a Rock band. They have more to offer. And so if you go into this record expecting more than a rock band, you're going to be quietly surprised by what they have to offer...
"That episode of The Simpsons where Homer had a Heart operation and his Chest hurt. It really spoke to us and we felt the need to start a band. Cheers Homer"
The melodies for Chest Pains' slower and more winsome songs hit us much harder. It's as though they have reserved a higher grade which soars way above the power chord explosions of the typical Rock band. That can come across a little stale, but Chest Pains are countering that. The best example is Favourite Fruit as one of the poppier tracks of the EP. The song redeems a "cookie-cutter" nature, hitting the right notes not because of what Sam says but how he says it. There's a slowing in his voice, a wobbly quiver, a mimic of travel haze and the very pensive nature of the lyrics. Much reminiscent of the early Arctic Monkeys releases, a mishmash of different styles and influences.
However, it must be said that as an original sound, Bath Bandits lacks the creativity and unconventionality inherent in any of the all-time great Rock bands they could impulsively be compared to: The Ramones; The Buzzcocks; The Strokes. But then, how many bands actually make it to this level?