DCM Records [Release date: 04.11.13]
Poland is something of a hotbed for progressive rock, it is therefore somewhat surprising when you hear an absolutely cracking album from a Polish band which sounds like it could have been conceived in a smoky studio in Seattle. The album was in fact recorded in Canada so maybe that country has provided a breath of fresh – if a tad Nickelback infused – air.
Arriving unannounced sans press release from what we can make out Chemia formed in Warsaw in 2010 and this is their second album. From the opener ‘Ego’ this is a rollercoaster ride of great songs, razor-sharp riffery, and some great vocals. Lukasz Drapala who joined the band in 2011 would certainly give Myles Kennedy a run for his Zloty.
The band are evidently influenced by classic rockers but their resulting sound owes much to the Alter Bridge/Bush/Audioslave school of post-grunge commercial rock. However, to my ears, they sound a whole lot fresher and slightly less calculated so don’t let those comparisons put you off.
There’s a great mix of heavy, commercial , but not too predictable tunes starting with the energetic ‘Ego’ and ‘Bondage Of Love’ (the two early singles) and including another likely single ‘Walked Away’. The mid-tempo ‘Everlasting Light’ provides a slightly funky respite whilst ‘Stalker’, ‘Hero’ (cue immediate memories of Chad Kroeger’s Spiderman track) and the bonus track ‘Letter’ show that the band can slow things down too. For a long time a bastion of emerging prog, Poland now offers up one of the most engaging and energising rock albums of 2013. *****
Review by David Randall
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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
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