The first time through the debut album by The Chasers might have you trying put your finger on who they sound like. Good luck with that. This is a unique band that has developed a sound all their own. From hard-driving guitar to thunderous bass lines with a badass drummer keeping perfect meter, they are very much in your face, straight ahead, meat and potatoes rock and roll, with a slight twist. There is nothing over produced on this album…and we thank them for that.
The title track “Knife” starts out as retro roots-based rocker that dives into some almost prog-rock mid song and they bring it back down nicely into the retro zone. That track is followed by a 55 second instrumental musical interlude “Success” that could have been taken straight out of the desert southwest and it conjures up images of tumbleweeds and a lonely cowboy riding off into the sunset. They quickly follow that up with a timeless song called “Success In Failure” that could easily have been written in the late 60’s or early 70’s. It has a total British pop sound.
The Chasers are made up of Ryan Leyva (known by American Idol and others fans as Johnny Nails) on guitar and vocals, Steven Barci on drums, and William Moore on bass and vocals. There’s just something pure about a 3-piece that has their shit-together musically and these guys clearly do.
The trio has a great resume and collectively have toured the world and carry with them past experiences and ties to American Idol, Michael Shrieve (Santana; Tangletown), Dave Grohl (Nirvana; Foo Fighters), Dave Hernandez (The Shins), Lars Finberg (Thee Oh Sees; The Intelligence), Ben Shepherd (Sound Garden), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Peter Frampton, Davy Knowles and the Backdoor Slam, Kurt Bloch (The Fastbacks), Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees), The Cops, Star Anna, and many more.
Track 7 is “Medical Grade” and it’s a filthy thrill ride clocking in at 2:01 which might seem a bit short but the song kicks ass for the whole two minutes and might remind the listener of Queens Of The Stone Age. Track 8 “Lame” starts off with a tastefully done piano intro and the song features the multi-talented Mark Pickerel. It’s kind of a weird tune that reminds one of a drunken Irish folk song, in fact the guitar(s) hint at Thin Lizzy, our favorite drunken Irish poets and of course we mean weird as a compliment, maybe REALLY different is a better description. Either way, we dig the tune.
Track number 11 “Devil’s Hand” is a little freaky in places but very unique and fits in well with the vibe of the album. And make no mistake this is best consumed as an album…all the way through, front to back, although that said there are some strong tracks such as Enemy and Knife but it may be difficult to select a favorite. On “Enemy” they blow the lid completely off and mash the throttle to floor and it’s definitely time to hold on. The song “Will Power” gets after it pretty good too.
1. They Ride
2. State Of Emergency
3. Mexican Speed Wrench Girl
6. Success In Failure
7. Medical Grade
9. Say Yes
11. Devil’s Hand
12. Look Before Leap
13. Will Power
14. Toxic and Dull
15. In Failure
This release plays extremely well front to back and each song seems to segue into the next, obviously a lot of thought went into song placement on Knife. There’s a little bit of something for everyone on here and this is highly recommended listening.
Find out more about The Chasers here