Rocky and the Chapter are back at it with the release of their newest EP, You Are Not Mine, which was released February 24 on Sniffling Indie Kids. This EP is a follow up to the 2016 release, Aye, which was one of my favorites of the year, and You Are Not Mine exemplifies everything that attracted me to the band initially. The New Brunswick five-piece, led by Rocky Catanese, will be celebrating at Porta in Jersey City on Saturday, March 4 with a special release show also featuring NGHTCRWLRS and Cicada Radio.
The EP gets going fast out of the gate with “Cracks.” A four-bar guitar riff, the kind Rocky and the Chapter are well known to flawlessly conceive and execute, drops on the first beat with the lead guitar playing a counter melody above it. The almost-dueling-guitars is thematic throughout the EP as the band utilizes three guitarists who each bring their own style and flare to every track. The lyrics of “Cracks” tell the coming of age story, known to all of us, that is dealing with insecurities, keeping yourself from falling apart, facing reality, and moving on with life. It’s deeply personal and vulnerable subject matter that is attacked with great strength, never feeling whiny or self-indulgent.
The second track off the album, “Diet Coke,” already has a mucic video, and while I’m personally biased to my cameo in the band’s last music video for “Sandbrook” off of Aye, the 360 POV shoot at home in the band’s rehearsal space was absolutely a fresh take.
“Lucky 13” is the true climax of the album, with “Diet Coke” being the O-face. In an EP filled with rockers, this track really dials it up to eleven. It’s faster, it’s harder, and god damn, that mother fucking cow bell. Rocky and the Chapter are one of my favorite bands for cruising the parkway on a nice spring (or lately, February) day with the windows down, but “Lucky 13” is bound to have you stomping your feet, banging your head, and drumming on the steering wheel with no concern for the safety of yourself or those around you. It’s probably safer to read this review on www.njracket.com on your iPhone while driving down the parkway than it is to listen to the song itself (although still not recommended).
Rocky ends your time together with “Talk Small,” what would typically be the obligatory ballad on an album full of face-melting solos and hard-rocking riffs to bring your blood pressure back down to a safe level. But Rocky and the Chapter really show the range of their talent with this more mellow track. Yes, the lyrics are great through the entire album, but on this track the delivery is much more deliberate, almost to the point of conversational. They are easier to receive and to digest, and if you are not relating to “I’m losing privilege to write or to call/ Well, I’ll see you below/ How can I be strong/ While you keep saying you’ll be leaving soon/ Now that you’ve smudged out the moon,” I can only assume that there’s a cold black hole in your chest where a real person’s heart would be.
You Are Not Mine is available now on BandCamp and Spotify for your listening enjoyment. It would also be in your best interest to come out to Porta on Saturday, March 4 to see Rocky and the Chapter perform, and to possibly also inhale some of Porta’s famous pizza. The show is free; the pizza, unfortunately, is not.
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.