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Chest Rockwell


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Chest Rockwell Laugh And The World Laughs With You album cover
3.50 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Black Reign (7:29)
2. Juggernaut (4:39)
3. Hogwash (5:53)
4. Ultimo Hombre (3:40)
5. Cut It in Half (4:59)

Total Time 25:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Josh Hines / Vocals, guitars
- Nick Rowse / Drums, percussion
- Nick Stewart / Bass, Keyboards
- Seth Wilson/ Guitars

Releases information

Available on Bandcamp:

Thanks to lazland for the addition
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CHEST ROCKWELL Laugh And The World Laughs With You ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CHEST ROCKWELL Laugh And The World Laughs With You reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lazland
3 stars Originally intended to be a full length release, this EP by American outfit Chest Rockwell was released in this form owing to their producer having to take time off for impending fatherhood! Well, I hope that all goes well with that, and I will say here that his knob twirling work is always quite superb on this release, thus allowing the band to avoid the trap of a poor sounding work that many other newer outfits can fall into.

When opener Black Reign came blasting out of my speakers, I had to revisit the band's profile on our site to check that they really were classified as neo-prog, because this is HEAVY. It is basically a heavy prog track, verging on the prog metal, and as far as traditional neo as you are likely to get. A pounding bass, drums, and riffs assault your senses, and this is full of youthful energy, with enough industry to make for an impact start. However, there are also enough melodic interludes amongst the riffs to make you sit up and realise that this is a lot more than a "by numbers" headbanging act. The solo guitar riff is very good, and the lengthy instrumental passage that closes the track is very impressive.

Juggernaut follows, and, vocals aside, I hear more than a bit of latter-day King Crimson here, before more "standard" riffs kick in. As with the opener, there are some nice guitar breaks amongst the riffing, but I find this a bit unsatisfying as a whole.

Hogwash changes the complexion of the EP completely, and is very pleasing as the "thrashing" of Juggernaut gives way completely, and is replaced by a very thoughtful, and understated, piece of music, featuring delicate keyboards, guitar and bass leading to some excellent solo guitar work (the solo guitar work by Seth Wilson is consistently excellent throughout the album). This track is somewhat mournful, without ever descending into depressing music, and is a true highlight and a clear taste of what the band are capable of. Nick Stewart, especially, creates a magnificent bass line to move the track along, and the riff at the denouement is excellent, reminding me very much of Rush in their finer moments.

Ultimo Hombre returns to extremely heavy territory. it is basically a modern heavy metal track without the prog balls attached. Good for what it is, but rather forgettable if I am honest.

Cut In Half closes the work, and is the best track on the EP. This piece, to me, very cleverly combines many traditional and modern influences in the band's music. Passages are at once Crimsonesque, and others Floydian, and the vocal performance of Josh Hines is the best by far on the work, simply because of its more laid back approach. A far more mature piece of music than the first listen suggests, this is, at the end of the day, very impressive, modern, heavier progressive rock, and the more frontal keyboard work does give one more than a hint of bands such as Arena in its pomposity, and I say this as a compliment.

There is more than enough in this EP for me to look forward to its successor in the months to come, and to award it a good three star rating. It is certainly a true shift onwards in comparison to some of the older pieces of music (which can be listened to on the band's Bandcamp site).

Do not be too fooled by the neo prog tag assigned on the site. This is, in reality, a modern heavy prog album, interspersed with passages that, with careful thought and nurturing, can move this band into the sort of commercially fruitful territory currently occupied by the likes of Haken and Riverside. I would also like to see more use of melodics and, certainly, keyboards.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band CHEST ROCKWELL have been around since 2004, with three full albums to their name and two EPs. A band that never really have been a nice and regular fit into any category, blissfully ignoring regular conventions and expectations something of a trademark feature of their material. "Laugh & the World Laughs With You" is the first of the two EPs they have made, and was self-released in 2011.

If there is a constant element to the material explored on this production, it is the use of textured instrument details that gives rise to associations towards post rock. A recurring detail if you like, the element that gives the five songs explored here an identity mark despite being fairly different in scope.

Opening piece Black Reign combines quirky, massive riff constructions and a certain thrash metal approach with compact, light toned passages that invites to the use of expressions such as alternative and indie, lightly flavored with symphonic inspired intermissions. Juggernaut brings a certain hardcore or punk inspired dampened aggression to the table, while the following Hogwash is a much more gentle expression that utilize textured instrument elements post rock style and alternating symphonic inspired material to build and develop a composition that concludes on a majestic note similar to what many post rock bands tend to do. Ultimo Hombre brings back an aggressive expression, alternating with a gentle intermission that gives me association towards the neo progressive realms, concluding in a gritty, powerful manner that brings an artist like Ministry to mind. While final song Get It in Half combines quirky riff based passages, light toned and elegant textured instrument driven sequences and massive, majestic riffs driven parts into a dazzling, brilliant whole. Five highly different compositions that still manage to come across as distinct creations by a single band by way of a few strong and distinct details as marks of identity.

Chest Rockwell is a band I've been fascinated by, in a good way, ever since I first encountered their music back in 2008 or thereabouts. "Laugh & the World Laughs With You" is an EP that documents just why this is a band that is worth investigating in a good way, by exploring material covering a wide stylistic delivery but still managing to stick to their own particular sound. An EP and a band recommended to those who tends to treasure music made by bands that prefer to stay off the most well trodden paths, in particular those with a fairly wide taste in music.

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