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Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Chariot -- Wars and Rumors of Wars


Wars and Rumors of Wars finds The Chariot evolving once more.  The art punk of The Fiancee is expanded upon, while elements of noise music filter through, and metal elements still appear periodically.  My goodness, what is wrong with me?
"Evolve" is a great example of these three elements chemically reacting. Yes, more science puns. "Evolve" begins with a fast punk section, develops into more metallic territory, then collapses into more than half a minute of dissonant guitar feedback.  Likewise, "Impress" begins like a classic punk song, then finds a sweet, off-time groove before everything falls out and two notes are repeated alone for the final minute as a sort of mantra.  But as much as Wars and Rumors of Wars features more left-field experimentation, it also finds The Chariot miraculously looking toward the center a bit.  There are songs that actually--GASP!--repeat parts, and The Chariot even put their own spin on the concept of a chorus with the aggressive but weirdly infectious, "Giveth." Josh Scogin's emotive vocals still get their opportunity to shine as well.  "Abandon"'s first minute and a half features nothing but an ominous, solitary guitar line and Scogin's screams (on this particular tour, the band played this song with house lights completely off, while Scogin wielded a lantern) before absolutely freaking out and leading into the "big" track of the album, "Daggers." This song most prominently features the concept of the album, which is, obviously, war, between nations, between persons, and between oneself. "Daggers" also features Scogin's most political lyric to date, "Old men/keep dreaming/of battles/for young men to fight," followed by a song break and the repeated line "War is only skin deep." Then, in an album high point, the song erupts in a manner only The Chariot could initiate.
Speaking of high points, the best moments of Wars and Rumors of Wars don't quite match those of its predecessor, The Fiancee.  However, Wars and Rumors of Wars, does have a slight edge in that it is more cohesive and generally more satisfying than any of The Chariot's previous releases. The band's constant experimentation, energy, and brief dalliances with structure create a strange feeling of comfort and enjoyability, and on top of that, Wars music videos are noble gasses. Yes, that just happened. I started off talking about science, and I end with science.  Duh, it's called writing. Look it up!


2009 Solid State Records
1. Teach 2:53
2. Evolve 2:59
3. Need 1:55
4. Impress 2:12
5. Never I 3:28
6. Giveth 3:29
7. Abandon 3:01
8. Daggers 3:43
9. Oversea 0:44
10. Mrs. Montgomery Alabama III 6:00

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