Friday, 23 December 2011

Best Albums of 2011: 2. The Chasms - Alchemical Postcards (Command To Destroy)

A slightly adapted re-post of the review I did for this album on its release:
Used to seem like it was some kind of musical law...and The Chasms have outstripped all of the superlatives I've ever employed to describe them in the process of breaking it. The Clash recorded 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' bookended by a couple of masterpieces. The Smiths had a certain creakiness in their debut effort and frankly I was never fully convinced by 'Meat Is Murder in its entirety either'. The Pixies followed my favourite albums of 1988 and 1989 with the listenable but unspectacular 'Bossanova'.

In short, history dictactes that releasing three breathtaking albums in a row is never done. But The Chasms have now not only done it, they've done it locked away in a barn in the Isle Of Man, made it available for free, and far too little is being written about it. Their latest album 'Alchemical Postcards', available for free download at http://www.thechasms.co.uk/ (and shortly
available for purchase in CD form) follows last year's 'Index Of Spirits' and their debut 'Advance Paranoia, Advance' as the latest in a series of mesmerising releases by what we must surely now label the world's best band. At least I'm going to anyway.

On receiving some early promos from the band, along with some of my colleagues, I played and marvelled at the incredible 'The Occult Soul Review' and, judging by their comments, I wasn't the only one to be left breathless by the experience. A clear and serious contender for the best track of 2011, and it almost doesn't need to be added that all six tracks on 'Alchemical Postcards'
offer a similarly magical sledgehammer impact to the listener, the effect of which borders on the physical. Playing tracks from it on the radio is actually a perilous business. Hard to keep to the time-honoured rule of 'no dead air' when you've just played something that leaves you as stunned and speechless as this.

What continues to remain perplexing is that The Chasms don't appear to have the kind of enormous audience they richly deserve. I'm aware that this statement can sound naive, aware of course that this can be said about so many fine bands, many of which we play on Dandelion Radio. But in their case it really does surprise me that anyone could hear them and remain immune to their music's effects. It would have to take my view of humanity down yet another notch, I fear. I live in a world that not only can vote in the likes of Bush and Cameron but also fails to succumb to the wonder of The Chasms in such large numbers? Perhaps they'll follow the Velvets, Can and Nick Drake in finding only a restricted audience at the time of their greatest potency only to be regarded as inspirational geniuses by future generations of music lovers.

I don't know. All I know is that if you don't take the opportunity to get hold of Alchemical Postcards right now you'll not only be missing out on free great music that comes, you'll also be putting yourself in a position of being asked by your grandchildren, 'What were you doing while The Chasms were around?'and having to answer something like 'Shuffling around me Kings Of Leon records'.It's not an option.

Get over to that website now and treat yourself to the sound of the greatest band to appear this century. Or future generations will know you by your folly.

4 comments:

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  2. Hi...

    Great piece. I'm late to the party on The Chasms, so late that they seem to have broken up and removed practically any trace of them from the internet. A damn shame as what I have heard sounds truly superb.

    Any ideas how I'd get hold of any of their stuff now? I'm stumped...

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