Street Chant: Means
By Jacob Connor
Fast-paced, no-frills guitar pop, threesome, Street Chant have delivered an energetic and genuine first album that reminds me of the up tempo guitar pop of Look Blue Go Purple, The Nixons and variously, The Clean, The Bats and early REM. Shunted along by Alex Brown’s relentless drumming (there’s a lot of Wipeout-style tom flailing), it’s actually a relief when the set changes gear for the downtempo Stoned Again and the vaguely Arabic Yaba Ara. The main thrust here is unrepentant youthful ennui. “It ain’t all good in this band” singer Emily Littler confides in Less Chat, More Sewing. You Do the Maths is all passive aggression; “Let’s fight, but not tonight.” Despite a monotheistic approach, the songwriters have an idiosyncratic turn of phrase and Street Chant (bass player Billie Rogers rounds out the trio) are assured and self-contained – they chose to dedicate the album to themselves. Arrangements are lean and spare, possibly through necessity. Cloud Jumpers veers off into a sonic daydream and the slightly wonky The Password Is Password hinges on some Violent Femmes-style voice and guitar doubling. Recorded by underground stalwart Bob Frisbee and released on Arch Hill, ‘Means’ is a solid beginning and a great leap out of the K’ Rd quagmire.