At some point it becomes clear to all of us that trying to navigate life on The Darkest Timeline is pretty heavy going. Politics, economics, human rights… all that grown-up stuff you have to worry about as an adult. Turns out they’ve all been surrendered to ideological grifting and cynical culture wars, which should be enough to make you pretty fkn furious. And you know what? We’re gonna need a soundtrack to this that sounds equally pissed off; something loud, fast and ‘orrible that gives you the impetus to finally drive that bulldozer through the cop shop. In case you hadn’t guessed where this was going, please welcome the grand, timely and thoroughly welcome return of Chain Whip.
Straight out of the gate, their second full-length ‘Call Of The Knife’ is absolutely raging. The opening title track might have you squinting at the turntable for a couple of seconds to check that someone hasn’t reanimated the young Circle Jerks, but as soon as frontman Josh Nickel’s voice kicks in, hardcore cognoscenti will be under no illusions that they could possibly be listening to anyone else. His voice is a righteous, gravelly roar that cuts straight through the noise with the very loose subtext ‘I’m having a bad day and it’s imperative that you know about it’. There’s a vitality to it that helps make these Vancouver boys one of the best bands in punk today, and it helps that he’s backed up by a rattling, rolling collective who remind us all that good old-fashioned hardcore (like the ‘80s used to make) remains one of the best ideas anyone’s ever had. Suck on that idea for a moment, poindexter!
You know what you’re getting with song titles like ‘Class Decay’ and ‘Hatewave’, but there’s something about the band’s garage-slanted take on the genre that makes ‘em a cut above. Panache? Chutzpah? Just the simple matter of really fkn good songs? Impossible to say, so let’s just settle by agreeing that this album does it all: you can skate to it, you can slam to it, you can paint your bedroom black to it. You can even listen to it while kicking over the statues and kickstarting that violent and bloody revolution we’ve been promised. Look, this is serious stuff that also happens to be oodles of fun. ‘Something’s gotta give,’ they sing, and maybe it’s your resistance. On this sort of delicious form, no one can touch Chain Whip right now. Form a cult and get obsessed immediately