Pushing past their melancholy roots Walla Walla natives Chastity Belt make a record even more personal yet relatable on their third album. Sonically rich in town and emotionally rich in vocals and lyrics they present a snapshot of their current selves and worries making for a record that knows exactly what it is.
Stomping forward energetically, “Different Now” carries a sense of friendly advice from someone who’s tired of seeing their loved ones suffer. With glistening guitars that boom out progressively through the song there’s a sense of art-infused surf-pop that makes it relaxing yet thought provoking. “Caught In A Lie” rolls with a hefty beat as guitars drone on, desperately searching for their next riff. The vocals carry as sense of tired anger that each booming chorus pushes with eager excitement.
Bringing a lot more grit into the guitars, “This Time of Night” rushes with passionate cries into the darkness the track crafts. The shimmering riffs that cover the choruses however give a more magical quality to the track, giving a cool shoegaze quality to its rock. In a heavy mood, “Stuck” delivers a brooding sort of chorus-charged rock, charting invigorating territory for the band as they layer so many guitars together it becomes intoxicating.
Taking a very melancholy attitude, “Complain” seems to explore a state of depression or anxiety, as its frantic lyrics and sound suggest. However demented they are though the track has a mystifying quality that makes it immediately gripping and oddly catchy. In a deep filter “It’s Obvious” pushes from a heavy base to create a more touching but damaged story in its lyrics and the overall emotion of the guitars.
“What The Hell” carries a classic tone from the second you hear its opening guitar strums, and even more as the riff and vocals come in. Deceptively simple, despite its layering, the verse is so addictive it barely needs its chorus by the time it drops in, as it crafts an instant ear worm from the start. Layering guitars dynamically, “Something Else” takes a while to start moving but its commanding choruses hit so intently that it makes it all the more satisfying given the wait.
Burning ever so slowly “I Used To Spend” chugs along as guitars and vocals leapfrog each other. As the tension breaks however, the roaring distortion and vocal melodies leave a frothing wake of intense emotions that break through with a pained wail. Closing out on a desperate rush “5am” pushes with a growing sense of urgency as it peels back layers of control on each roll of drums and each bridge line. The explosive tear of the guitar that closes out the album is so surprisingly raucous that it’s shocking in contrast with the rest of the album.
Hitting their third album Chastity Belt is truly making something that doesn’t only sound consistent, but sounds ambitious. Their voice truly comes through making their sombre and more energetic moments equally authentic and their ability to push themselves without losing themselves makes this a record that will turn heads.
Words by Owen Maxwell