Rocky and the Chapter released their new four track EP, Aye, back on October 28, and it’s a shame it has taken me this long to write the review. I listened to it the day it was released. I even sent Rocky a message on Facebook because it hadn’t been uploaded yet and I was waiting for it. I’m very impatient, especially when it comes to new music I’ve been looking forward to.
The opening track, “Go For Gold,” wastes no time kicking ass and jumps right in with a riff reminiscent of their previous album New Day/Old Night, which was their work that had initially caught my attention a year or so ago. This song’s got balls and rocks pretty fucking hard without crossing the line into a scream or hardcore type of hard. It’s classic rock and roll, and the solo that closes out the song really drives that home.
The guitar throughout the album is perfect. Layered on between Rocky Catanese, Chris Grzan, and Joe Lanza, there are moments when the guitar shreds like a motherfucker, gets the heads rocking and feet tapping, but then also is pulled back at exactly the right times to let the vocals shine through and to create that dynamic juxtaposition like right before the last chorus on “Sandbrook” where it gets real quiet to pull you in right before smacking you in the mouth with a power chord! I’m not a musician; it might not actually be a power chord, but it sounds pretty goddamn powerful (yes, I know that’s not what it means, fuck you).
Speaking of the chorus of “Sandbrook,” its perfect for singing along to, as is most of this album. “If it breaks your heart/ and you claim to start anew/ and you’re acting like you care/ about the things I have to say/ can you believe yourself/ and not just run away.” Besides being simple and universally relatable, the rhythm (which you can’t get from reading this) flows. The words fit. There’s no random four-syllable word that has to get shoehorned into a line that just doesn’t sound right and jumbles up the whole thing.
“Habits” and “Evergreen,” the last two tracks on the album, change up the tone a little bit and mellow out the guitars in favor of a softer and more melodic sound. If “Go for Gold” and “Sandbrook” were the balls of the album, then these two tracks are the heart and soul (sounds like the perfect man, right ladies?). They’re emotive and heartfelt and more than likely I think, the songs that you’d really connect to and keep you coming back for a second, third, eighth listening of this EP, as I have been.
With a complete run time of only about fifteen minutes, you can really only lose out by not checking out this album and this band, and if you like Aye, which you will, Rocky and the Chapter have plenty of more tunes available on Bandcamp and Spotify for your listening enjoyment.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.