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Chest Rockwell - Back to Square One CD (album) cover


Chest Rockwell



2.22 | 4 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Boogie nights?

Arising in 2004 from a solo project by vocalist/guitarist Josh Hines, Chest Rockwell took their name from a character in the film "Boogie nights". Thankfully however, there is little relation musically between the band and the film of that name, as this their first album (released in 2005) clearly demonstrates.

"Back to square one" is a rather shaky first offering, with both the production and the performances being kindly described as naive. There is plenty of promise though, the guitar work in particular being melodic and pleasing. It is the lead vocals and the harmonies which betray the lack of experience of the band; with a little more post-production they could have sounded a whole lot better, but they are left in their raw state.

The tracks often have the feel of demos, being based around acoustic guitar and drums. Some of the songs, such as "Psychic Maelstrom" show promise and could have been brought to fruition had they been sympathetically developed. Others though, while delivered with enthusiasm, betray a need for the songwriting skills to be developed too.

While much of the material is based in indie rock, there is a reasonable sense of adventure in some of the arrangements, "Y'all Are Dude" being an example of a song which can be simultaneously frustrating and promising. On the other hand, "Something vulnerable" is pure pop, with banal lyrics but an infectious rhythm.

There is little here with a prog dimension, and certainly nothing to tie the band into the neo-prog category they have been assigned on this site. As we continue to explore the band's later albums that may well change, but based on this album alone there is little to trouble the discerning prog fan. Others with wider tastes may however find the green-shoots they seek from a new band with potential.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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