Mess+Noise EP review: The Chemist – ‘The Wolves’ Howls Shatter The Old Glass Moon’, May 2010

An EP review for Mess+Noise.

Debut EP by Perth rock band The Chemist, 'The Wolves' Howls Shatter The Old Glass Moon'The Chemist The Wolves’ Howls Shatter The Old Glass Moon

Your appreciation of falsetto is the primary determinant in whether or not you’ll dig Perth quartet The Chemist. Singer Ben Witt – lead guitarist in Bob Evans’ band – possesses one of those enviably wide vocal ranges. Throughout their debut EP, The Wolves’ Howls Shatter The Old Glass Moon, Witt’s delivery tilts toward the upper register. You’ll either love it or hate it. I fall into the first camp; Witt’s voice is extraordinary, and should be celebrated. Wisely, his vocals ride high atop The Chemist’s pleasant take on bar-room rock’n’roll, sans pomposity.

Don’t let their allegiances with Perth pop’s big names colour your judgment here. Just because the EP was produced by Eskimo Joe’s Joel Quartermain and ‘Stars’ was originally recorded with Luke Steele doesn’t mean you should tar them with the same brush. They have more in common with Lovers-era Sleepy Jackson than Empire Of The Sun’s glossy pop or Eskimo Joe’s aspirant stadium-rock. That Quartermain and Steele have lent their time to The Chemist should hint at their potential for greatness, not just their capacity to appeal to triple j’s programming team.

Full review at Mess+Noise, which also contains a track to stream. I highly recommend checking The Chemist out on MySpace, and live when you next get the chance.

Embedded below is a video I filmed of the band performing at a One Movement industry showcase in Perth last year. It was my introduction to the band, and it made a hell of a first impression.

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