Record Review: Chamberlin

Bitter Blood
Goshen, VT

“Stunning creativity from a nine-month old band.”

Recorded in a cabin in rural Vermont with fellow Vermonter Scott Tournet of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Bitter Blood is a knock-you-off-your-feet debut.  It is, in execution and clearness of vision, the descendent of The Band’s Music from Big Pink, and is just as refreshing and inspiring in its creativity as Big Pink was in 1968. One of the elements that draws your ear in is how effortlessly, yet confidently, they demand your attention.

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There are no over-the-top wah wah guitar solos or singers over-souling. Electric guitars are recorded clean, with minimal effects.  Without hysterics flash, Chamberlin (like The Band) impress with their songwriting, arranging, musicianship and the diversity of the material.  “Paper Crown” is a lean funk lay-out between songs that recalls Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket.  Album closer “Sixty Days” starts with over a minute of the band singing a cappella, live in a hallway of the cabin, before kicking in with all instruments for the last forty seconds.

It’s a distinctly New England record in that a) it sounds like a record by a band that was snowed in for months and b) it hints at Americana without using blue notes or traditional chord changes.  For a band that’s been together less than a year, this is a remarkable effort. (Roll Call/EMI)

Produced by Scott Tournet // Recorded in a cabin in Goshen, VT


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