As soon as I found out Chew Heart is a band with a female singer, I knew that I was going to enjoy this album. I’ve always been a huge fan of any band with a female frontwoman, mostly because it gives a new dimension to a musical landscape that is already saturated with so many bands that all tend to sound the same.
It’s amazing how different a song can sound from a female vocalist as opposed to a male one, and I was eager to listen to this album and see whether it held true to my assumptions.
Nicely done, Chew Heart. You did not let me down. Each track on this EP held something new and different from the previous one, but they still form a cohesive album that I listened to several times over, just to really let the music set in. It would be difficult to classify this band into one specific genre, because they have elements of several different styles of music, but they manage to make everything flow together that it seems as though they have created a new style altogether.
What I found most interesting initially is that Chew Heart is composed of only two members: Laura Granlund and Curt Swank, and somehow they manage to pull off a sound that some bands twice their size can’t seem to do successfully. And many bands who do rely on the two-member dynamic tend to lean towards a more mellow and deconstructed sound, but Chew Heart proves that size does not matter in this case.
The first track, “Catty Cop,” really caught my attention because Granlund starts with such a powerful but melodic sound, and then towards the middle of the track, she lets out a snarl that immediately made me think I was listening to a Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ album. I was thrown for a loop, because I was not expecting that kind of a shift when I started listening to the song. Over the rest of the six tracks, she throws more curveballs at her listeners, seamlessly calling upon the influences of singers from across the musical landscape.
Overall, it’s the versatility of the music and the array of different sounds that Chew Heart manages to invoke that make this album enjoyable from the first listen, and it’s an album that grows stronger with each subsequent play. If you’re looking for a band with a generic sound that stays the same over each track, then this is not the album for you. However, if you want music that keeps you guessing, but also keeps you enthralled, then I can guarantee that you’ll love Chew Heart.
- Chew Heart, based in Chicago, is Laura Granlund (guitar/vocals) and Curt Swank (drums).
- Their EP, Messy Snarls, is available on Loose Tooth Records’ website for $5 (+$2 shipping) or on iTunes for $5.94 (mp3s).