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
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
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