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The Erik Chandler Band - 'The Truth' Album Review

Tracklist: 1. After12 2. Hold It Together 3. Tonight's The Night 4. Anna 5. Malibu Classic 6. Push The Pedal 7. It Ain't Right 8. Honestly 9. This Time 10. You Were Gone 11. Where Did You Go 12. Did You Know 13. Rudderless

Once upon a time, I was a fan of Bowling For Soup. Not a massive fan, but I enjoyed their humouros takes on pop-punk and the live shows were a fun distraction for a couple of hours.

At the last show I went to (back in 2010) I met Erik, and he was a thoroughly decent guy, taking time from signing autographs to wax ridiculous about a voyage to return a CD I'd given him if it was terrible, which ended with us singing “On A boat” in the style of “On A Rope” by Rocket From The Crypt. This was all while ignoring the 14-16 year old girls desperate for a hug and an autograph. I have no shame in admitting I thought I was far cooler than those people.

After that I'll admit to losing most of my respect for BFS. Between the “LAST EVER UK TOUR” that then turned out to be a lie, and the constant crowd funding attempts for their latest albums which to me seemed stupid and could easily help other bands fund their much smaller fanbases albums, I was totally put off, so when Sean sent me over this album I had no idea what to expect.

The truth though, is this album is really, really good! The song writing from the start felt more organic, and the lyrics are so much less focused on humour and instead on telling a story that it really makes for some great songs. I usually go on a bit about the different instruments and how they’re done, but in this instance, it really doesn't matter. They all do the job admirably, with time obviously spent developing the tracks properly and while there are little bits of flare added by all musicians, they don't feel forced at all and just make the songs sound better.

The Vocals throughout stand out. Erik's tone ranges from a texan drawl, almost country like, to an almost Robert Palmer-esque standard. It's incredible the range of styles he draws upon to help differentiate each track, and it's what stands out most and should be commended on.

Each track is a little different, while not making any leaps around and being stupid. You'll find no dubstep track here (unless that's a bonus track) and they all gel together to form a full album, telling tales of Erik's own personal experiences.

You're not going to find a Bowling For Soup album here, the comedy is dark and low key at best, and the happy go lucky, 3 chord pop-punk stanza's are non-present, but that shouldn't put you off giving this album a spin at all. Whether it be the 80's inspired tracks such as 'After 12' and 'Honestly', or the lower tempo tracks like 'Anna' and "Did you Know', you'll hopefully be left feeling the same as I do. Let's sack off a Bowling For Soup Tour, and just have the Erik Chandler Band over here. It would be a far cooler party.

Review - Oli Williams

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