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Choke The Word - Enjoy The Parade CD (album) cover


Choke The Word


Crossover Prog

2.00 | 1 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Eclectic art rock with strings

Choke the Word were a Denver based art rock band who supplemented the usual instruments with a cellist and violinist. They had good local success with regular gigging and in 2010 they became the first band in Colorado to successfully use a Kickstarter campaign to fund their debut CD. They managed to raise over $4000 which paid for their studio time and pressing. They were well received--In 2011, they won a Westword Music Showcase Award for Best Goth Band and were nominated again for Best Prog Rock Band in 2012. Unfortunately the group disbanded in 2012 but I felt their album deserved some notice at PA.

Choke have a unique sound thanks to songwriting their co-founder Cameron Hays describes as "primarily in odd-meter or shifting time signatures." Their second weapon is the luxurious voice of vocalist and co-founder Melati Olivia. And last would be a full time cellist and violinist in the band. The combination of these elements, a solid guitarist and drummer, and a slightly Gothic vibe produce an album that rocks but with a noticeable exotic flair. (The band were rounded out by an energetic guitarist Mike Miller, Gracie Stean, Allison Allain, and a super drummer Chris Ortega.) Most of the tracks are 4 minute melodic rockers, often it takes a hard rock edge with chugging, distorted guitar, on other songs there is a folk-rock vibe and occasionally some Eastern sound influences. The mixture of the strings with modern rock in this band recall the Italian band TheGeneration but the strings are more background here and not as well implemented frankly. The 6+ minute closer "Horseman" was a highlight with some excellent playing with a dramatic feel throughout, some nice variation in light and heavy.

This is a fair to occasionally good first effort and it would have been very interesting to hear where they could have taken it. But it is not a great album. There is something slightly off in the sound. It's hard to put my finger on it but the obvious talents do not always gel in the songs. Vocalist Olivia moved on to much harder (and more accomplished) sounds in the math/metal band Seris. 2-3 stars but I'd have to round down on this one I'm afraid.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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