‘Delivering banger after banger, it’s like a live set that you’ll never want to end.’
Re-intro Chay Snowdon
Alternative indie that’s gagging to be released? This is exactly what four-piece band Chay Snowdon are blasting our way today (12th March 2021) with their lengthy titled, seven-track EP, ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Then We’ll Begin)’. Based in the south-west of England, Chay Snowdon have previously supported the likes of The Sherlocks, The Snuts and Glass Caves so are well taught in the art of working up a crowd. Equally, with their 2020 reviewed single ‘Tough Guys Die First’ harnessing this intent, we should have always known this would transfer to this EP. And it has. Bringing live music energy into a studio setting, they have managed to recreate such an atmosphere by utilising a microphone wired up to a caravan and the best weather that Britain can possibly offer.
‘Thank you very much for tuning into Chay Snowdon’s debut extended play. Are You Sitting Comfortably? Then well begin.’
Divulge into the world of Chay Snowdown. A world of catchy hooks, gritty vocals and ridiculously impressive guitar work. Just a pre-warning, the intro will be your last chance to turn back but if you don’t, get ready to ‘Kick cans join a gang’ and immediately throw yourself into ‘What the Kids Want’.
If you wanted to hear how well they can work their guitars, you’re in luck because ‘What the Kids Want’ does not hold back. Chay pierces the silence with sharp bouts of vocals and electricity without so much as batting an eyelid. From this point on we know we’re are in for a treat. The only issue is that one listen might not be enough and before you know it, you’re at the outro and gasping for more. They wanted to recreate live music and we have pretty much got it. The attitude, the clarity, the screaming guitars…even the seamless transitions into the next song.
Without any hesitation, second track ‘Tough Guys Die First’ is soon rocking through our speakers and right into our ears. It carries all the grit and power needed to get a crowd on their feet. Truth be told, we already knew ‘Tough Guys Die First’ was an addictive ‘chugging punch bag of sound’, but what we didn’t realise was how well it works in the context of the album. Positioned with precision, the perfect setlist is forming, and pairing each track with those either side it’s the best way possible to get this digital audience jamming.
Transferring this through the entire EP, sonic surges fuelled but what I can only describe as ‘Peaky Blinders’ vibes hit you. Delivering dominance in a way that the title would such, the plucky bass lines that lay at the centre of ‘Loud Shirts’ purr through the speakers. With a smooth sheen of electricity spewing from every guitar riff and adrenaline seeping into every adrenaline-fuelled, vigorous drum crash, the build in this track is not to be reckoned with, much like the attitude you adopt when listening. However, when you discover the impetus behind this midpoint track, it’s little suprise.
“It [Loud Shirts] was the first song written that solely had live shows in mind.” says Chay, “Its purpose is to get the crowd down the front and going for it. It’s been in our set for a few years, but never gets old to play, and our regular gig-goers all know and anticipate it in our sets. It has most definitely been a tune that has been gagging for a release, so, we finally felt it deserved to be recorded so fans can dance around at home, and drift away into a dream world of mosh pits and chanting.”
Following suit in classic banger-after-banger style is ‘Men Cry Too’. Of course, they do. And after experiencing this track, you might, for all the right reasons do the same. Something about this track gives it an unusually personal link, a catharsis that unlike most singles doesn’t rely on vesuvian eruptions of sound. The controlled edge and jarring dip of the bridge is pieced together perfectly to push those feelings up and make us ‘talk like humans do’ or in this case sing. Of course, Chay’s own recognisable vocals bring much of this to the table. Laced with raw passion and emotion, it is enough to put your arms in the air as you find a table, chair, or platform to dance on. And that’s before we have even hit the one-minute mark.
Unfortunately, like all good things – or in this case a great release – the show has to end, but not before we hear ‘Cash Only’. Humorous, yet incredibly catchy, it has it’s own identity, and although we ideally could have gone out with a bigger bang, in it differing from the rest of the line-up it feels like a refreshing conclusion. Equally, with it having an inclusivity to it, it’s easy to imagine the audience rolling their ‘R’s along with Chay. All that’s left to say is ‘Thank you for listening and remember, when the siren sounds, it is not a drill’.
Leaving us with a huge bout of live music FOMO, Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Then We’ll Begin)’ causes you to find a new musical love for Chay Snowdown’s alt-indie ethos.
Feature by Harriet Heywood
Find out more about Chay Snowdon at:
Track Review: Chay Snowdon: Tough Guys Die First