I don’t know much about Chain Cult – and sometimes that’s a good thing coming into a band. Instead of a bio, the review might actually talk about the music instead. Chain Cult calls Athens, Greece home and this release, succinctly titled Demo 2018 has 6 songs and runs about 17 minutes.
The first note is that, for being called a demo, this record sound quality is great and the songs are fully formed. Most people dub this group post-punk, and it’s fairly accurate. There are strong shades of the riffage from late 1970s British bands that were starting to grow away from the simpler 3-chord base, spawning the “post” subgenre of today. While that’s a good start, the band is probably equal part street punk and ’77 punk, mixing in familiar flourishes that breathe a little more life into the brooding tone.
The vocals are forceful, with “Black Hole” in particular reminding me of the vocal delivery in a street punk song: it’s shouted, punchy and clear. Meanwhile the guitars wind, twist, and groove. What’s always defined post-punk to me is the way that hooks get stuck in your head instead of a vocal melody, and that’s definitely the case on Demo 2018. Each song has its own loop that digs in and sticks with you, yet they wrap up each of the 6 songs neatly, with each track standing strong on its own. “Chain Cult” is a call to action, and “State of Fear” manages a complexity in tone that’s building, brooding, and bursting with power all at the same time.
Chain Cult deliver post-punk for a punk rock attention span. The songs are more exploratory than your average punk song, but they never go off course too far either. It’s experimental, yet contained and to the point.
8.0 / 10
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