New Zealand’s Modern Chair have been drip feeding singles all last year, and each release anticipates the next with a mounting sense of excitement. Let’s be clear: I am a huge fan. From their debut, ‘Tokyo Compression’ through to ‘Vampire Squid’ and ‘Sending the Sun’, Modern Chair produces dirty, stomping squalls of pure joy laced with a healthy attitude redolent of sweaty leather jackets and disdainful sneers.
They have now just released an EP entitled “Can’t Look Back’ and while maintaining the filthy, romping carefree attitude, they have suddenly sweetened the sour with Beatlesque melodies matched with glam stomp. This is a grounded, mature and, dare I say, pop laden blast that shows great development.
The title track is back to business as usual – the relentless rhythm of jungle drums and shouty vocals and an insistent guitar that cuts like a shard of glass. The difference is that the band has gone all anthemic – catchy choruses and addictive melodies. This could proudly sit next to your collection, sitting somewhere between The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Beatles and The House of Love.
‘Beautiful World’ puts on the brakes – Modern Chair’s perverted version of a candle-lit ballad that takes on a psych embedded dream/nightmare with back tracked guitars and lazy laid back vocals.
The glam stomp appears foremost in ‘I Wanna Get Swept Away’, a driving Mack Truck of a song with its sneering chorus interleaved by Modern Chair’s filthy guitar pummelling at the sweet lyrics undermined by the scornful tone. Magic.
Modern Chair describes themselves as the Bill Nighy of Rock – a lovely description of a veteran band that may appear harmless from a distance but has a wicked attitude up close.
Do have a listen and download here.
Here is the video for ‘Can’t Look Back’:
An exemplary display of Modern Chair’s ultra cool pop-laden fuzz. When most rock and roll produced these days is as challenging and creative as a glass of still mineral water, Modern Chair are a healthy dose of fermented attitude served straight up in the bottle.