Finding something truly unique in rock music is, without question, quite a challenge.
The line between derivative and being ‘different’ for different’s sake can be tricky to ride, yet a select few bands will often arise in possession of that ‘something’ that pricks ears to attention.
I caught Chapter and Verse (C&V) at Rock City in 2018 and they carried that ‘something’ with fierce confidence – a ‘flare’ that would blow headlining heavyweights Hawthorne Heights out of the water that same evening.
With new touring prospects emerging, the alt-rock quintet return to the mantle on a mission to keep this new breed of rock alive and well; ‘After Midnight’ is the result.
— Chapter and Verse (@ChapterandVer5e) July 5, 2021
Ever since that night at Rock City, I’ve kept a close eye on the band and, despite not rocketing to stardom status as I was (perhaps naively) anticipating, C&V has kept well away from the brake pedal.
Through an array of singles, EPs and 2019’s debut album ‘Glow’, their alt-rock/pop blend has only garnered stronger footing, with their fans, dubbed ‘The New Breed’, only growing hungrier.
Fortunately, in this new era where live music’s return is no less plausible than the band’s future success, the quintet hasn’t lost sight of what gives them that ‘flare’.
Simply put, After Midnight is a very good song and will be a worthy addition to any of the band’s upcoming setlists.
Is it their best? No – but the margins are small.
C&V’s main hook is not the individuality of their music – alt-rock and pop have met countless times before – but it’s how the music resonates with its listeners.
After Midnight delivers on this front to a point.
Josh Carter’s vocals – the band’s strongest and most prominent facet – help kick things off to eleven by unleashing the pulsing chugs and groove-heavy slaps behind him; arranging an eclectic backdrop to the band’s aural battery.
A strong start translates to a stronger climb as the pre-chorus flirts with the ebbs and flows of sinking piano keys and ominous riffing whilst Carter continuous to tingle spines with his impassioned deliveries.
The payoff, however, is a non-starter.
The chorus, while memorable enough to hog some mental real estate, just doesn’t ‘explode’ the way its build-up would have you anticipate.
It’s no cause to revoke your New Breed membership – the breakdown in the last third acts as a well-needed revival – but it does prevent After Midnight from joining tracks like ‘Magazines’ as their best material.
The excitement, however, shall live on.
Chapter and Verse’s flame still burns brightly and After Midnight’s highs are more than enough to counter its minor lows.
This is the sound of a band with a surging wealth of energy, a king-sized melting pot of ideas and very little patience to unleash it.
‘After Midnight’ is available to stream, download and purchase from platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music from Tuesday 6th July.
By Alex Mace
Feature Image Credit: Chapter and Verse Facebook page