Rough and Ready...
Not to be confused with the Braintree, Essex hardcore band of the same name, Chestburster hail from Kouvola in Finland. Their genre has been stated as Psychedelic Rock, but a listen to the first three tracks of this album initially made me question that a little.
The opening track Faces in the Rain sounds like a late 70’s/early 80’s punk effort, but with some metal drumming included. The sound quality comes across as a bit off – like someone’s done an above average bootleg recording effort down at the local pub. Gyntsä (vocals & guitar) certainly has an untrained sounding voice. Initially I thought he sounded not too bad in a Rob Younger-ish kind of way, but that quality didn’t last. Throughout the entire album, he hits a few bum tones here and there, which do grate a little on the senses!
Tracks 2 and 3 were more of the same. The guitar work on Experienced Virgin is the only thing to really lift the track. Slime and Guilt reminded me of a few dodgy sounding tracks on an old punk compilation album I bought back in the mid-80’s, where the ability to play or sing were pretty much optional – it was just a bunch of raw sounding noise. Once we hit track 4, we do take more of a psychedelic/stoner turn. Gas Station Pilgrim actually starts out with a much slower intro, and slowly builds into a Kyuss-like guitar riff filled track. The vocals are also much better, Gyntsä’s somewhat softer, lower toned voice works well. This is certainly a stand out track in my mind.
The remainder of the album does contain some reasonable stoner grooves and Gyntsä’s guitar work is pretty good. There are plenty of catchy riffs to keep you listening. The thought that this is just your usual alternative rock band having a crack down at the pub does resurface from time to time. If you like your tunes sounding a bit rough and ready, give this a whirl. These guys have been around for a few years, so I’m guessing this is as polished as they want to get!