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Chase the Day – Tabula Rasa

Chase the Day have only been established since 2012 which makes them a band still in its infancy, but this album – Tabula Rasa – is their debut into the world of published music; and what a debut it is.

Pariah is an exceptionally strong introduction to their debut, with a spectacularly chunky bass track and decent hooky riff straight from the off, with the vocals really adding to the strength of this opening song. The next track in line Chase the Day adds to the onslaught, with a powerful call-and-answer structure weaving itself throughout the song; the haunting vocals, unique riff and stunning bass work adding to the atmosphere.

The album continues to hit hard with A Little Peace and my personal favourite Forget Your Name, with grungy tones reminiscent of Nirvana as Chase The Day work through these tracks with a fast pace and talent that will continue to impress throughout the album.

For myself, these two tracks are the first climatic points, before Damage Done and Rats in My Cellar provide a brief low – Rats… being a 48 second interlude which I unfortunately failed to see the point of, briefly wondering why it had been inserted into an otherwise well-rounded and complete-sounding record.

But then the band surge back into pace with Seed, a five minute ballad in the middle of the album which takes strong influence from country and blues, coupled with a haunting guitar solo which provides a climatic ending to the song – and is one of the most prominent solos on the album. Just the Same and Across the Water continue the outstanding drive of Tabula Rasa, along with Honey Pot which brings in some more outstanding bass work and an atmospheric guitar solo two minutes in. Initially, I felt that Honey Pot was one of the weakest tracks on the album, but I found it growing on me with each listen of the album and continues to aid the enjoyment of this debut.

The debut album of Chase the Day finishes on a high with Spider Jerusalem and Dig – both equally outstanding tracks and another two personal favourites of mine. Spider Jerusalem is one of the heavier tracks on the album with a strong metal-influenced riff towards the end of the track and powerful vocals which belt out over the complex guitar structures and another fantastic bass line.

Dig is also another very heavy track compared to the rest of the album, really suggesting to me that Chase the Day mean business and are here to stay. The sound of this song is very reminiscent of the Foo Fighters, with a mid-track slow down before a thundering fill-in and deathly scream – ending Tabula Rasa with a fist to the stomach of the listener, completing the mainly strong track line up with yet another hard-hitting, jaw-dropping wonder.

In summary, whilst Chase the Day are newcomers to the world of published rock artists; in my opinion they can only go from strength to strength if they continue to produce and deliver albums of this calibre. There are so many fresh ideas in Tabula Rasa, coupled with a varied and pleasing mix of ballads, alt-rock, country and 90’s nostalgia in a summer vacation wrapper. Listening to this album, I could just picture myself on a road trip down the west coast of America with my friends and Tabula Rasa as one of my choices in a medley of soundtracks.

The vocals are outstanding and are the fulcrum in helping mould the album into a really strong debut effort from Chase the Day. The bass line and guitars are strong and solid throughout the whole thing, barely missing a beat as they thunder their notes into you track by track. The riffs are superb, and whilst they do not fully push the boat out in terms of complexity; they have done a fantastic job in catching the listener’s ears and enticing you to spin the record again.

The album is superbly well-produced and a spectacular debut from Chase The Day. If you have a passion for the Foos, Nirvana or just like hard-hitting grunge that will blast you straight back into 90’s nostalgia then Tabula Rasa is definitely worth checking out.

Niki Flynn

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