The Chariot
Wars and Rumors of Wars


3.0
good

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
April 30th, 2009 | 161 replies | 22,126 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Repetition, I'd like you to meet Josh Scogin.

4 of 8 thought this review was well written

The Chariot have an interesting history -- lead singer, Josh Scogin, of the formerly almost-tolerable metalcore band Norma Jean left the band for undisclosed reasons in 2002, only to jump right back into the scene a short two years later with Everything Is Alive, Everything Is Breathing, Nothing Is Dead, and Nothing Is Bleeding, an atrociously titled Solid State debut from his newly formed band The Chariot. Truth be told, the appeal of the band isn't particularly intriguing; Scogin wasn't a captivating vocalist to begin with and The Chariot did very little to differentiate themselves from their labelmates and most importantly, Norma Jean. After two alarmingly mediocre records, including the incredibly poorly received sophomore record, The Fiancee, The Chariot bubbles up again to prove themselves a formidable rival to the metalcore scene -- or at least, they give a solid effort.

Wars and Rumors of Wars is a record as rough-around-the-edges as they come. Guitar notes are dirty, drumming is sloppy, strings are half strummed, notes are half sounded and dissonant minor riffs are eagerly exhibited throughout the pummeling thirty minutes of the record. At times, the cacophony can be interpreted as raw, aggressive artistic integrity, but too many times it just sounds like a garageband still honing their chops. The song layout and construction mimics the unshaven sound of the record -- random forgettable riffs strung together with awkward time changes and jaunty sound loop interludes ultimately make up for a curious listening experience. The variance of ideas throughout the record is enormously absent, and monotony becomes integral to Wars and Rumors of Wars's charm, evident by the first explosive notes of the opener Teach.

That's not to say that they don't do some things well. The entirety of Wars is brutally raw and so extremely unpolished that it ends up working for the band in most cases (one cannot help but imagine that they put on a brilliant live show). Luckily enough, unconventional musical ideas do occasionally appear on Wars too. For example, the droning and churning of the expansive six minute Mrs. Montgomery Alabama III (it wouldn't be a metalcore record without at least one dumb song title) is curiously intriguing, and the rare moment of restraint that the band showcases is comforting. Or, sample the sour clean-toned guitar that dominates the track Abandon, discordantly accentuating Scogin's mostly impassioned vocals ("Is this a blessing or a curse?") before exploding into a brief climax that is over long before the song becomes too self indulgent, or before the lyrics become too campy.

On that note, the majority of the songs are around or beneath the 3 minute mark (which makes for a very brief ten-track experience), so before The Chariot find themselves dragging their poor songwriting skills out too long, the notes stop and the songs end (albeit often very abruptly). This is also widely disappointing, for it also means that whenever The Chariot latch on to an engaging musical idea, it is discarded before the listener has an opportunity to embrace it. For example, Teach starts brilliantly, exploding with pounding drums and spiraling guitars until around the one minute mark, when the band abruptly switches timing and lays to waste any consistency they had going for them.

Many bands can get away with mashing random musical ideas into an indecipherable glob of 'musical prowess,' but ultimately, The Chariot do not have technical ability or the emotion to pull off such a daunting task. Wars and Rumors of Wars is a relentless brain-beating of a record, but it offers little more than screeching feedback and dissonant loopy riffs..Of course, if relentlessly calloused and scabrous hardcore tunes (imagine if Norma Jean has a vague sense of direction) are your cup of tea, then I will welcome you to drink away. Unfortunately, I strongly urge everybody else (coffee drinkers, wine-o's) just to steer clear.



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Rationalist (2)
Wars and Rumors of Wars delivers dissonance, but no substance and no source of intrigue for the list...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

http://www.myspace.com/thechariot

Steam it here, listen, and whatnot! Record is pleasant, meh and brief all in one.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/news.php?newsid=9204

This Message Edited On 04.30.09

Essence
April 30th 2009



3583 Comments


bro, let me break this down for you

-- /= ;

and so extremely unpolished that it ends up working for band in

missed a the
Unconventional musical ideas do occasionally appear too.

sentence fragment
strangely six-minute

what? also, the hyphen isn't needed
sour grungy guitar

what?
jarringly backing up

what?
The Chariot have not the

change to "do not have"



Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Whatever would I do without you, Jack. I'll get on those. This Message Edited On 04.30.09

gaslightanthem
April 30th 2009



5209 Comments


what a shitty album cover

Essence
April 30th 2009



3583 Comments


"hey broskis what should we put on our album cover?"
"yo how about a super rad dude getting impaled on a gun by another dude, but it's his TWIN BROTHER! for, like, a metaphor for war and stuff!"
"hey that actually sounds pretty cool, but i already decided we'll just shittily scrawl our album name on the front with big bold letters that are indicative to how gigantically we suck"
"f'sho bra"

gaslightanthem
April 30th 2009



5209 Comments


lol

gaslightanthem
April 30th 2009



5209 Comments


silly nigs

Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's made perfectly for ugly band merch though!

Fixed up, hopefully improved.

AlexTM510
April 30th 2009



1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lol dude that was quick....nice review.

I slightly disagree with some of your points so I'll eventually come around to writing my own sometime this week I suppose. Need to let it grow on me.

To be honest I think the way The Chariot writes their albums makes their sound work....like the fact the album is constantly bashing over the head unmercifully is balanced with the fact that the songs are short and the album is approx only 30 minutes.

But yea I think most ppl will agree with you anywhoo

Digging: Sadistik - Ultraviolet

roofi
April 30th 2009



959 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i have generally hated anything josh scogin has done, so i don't think i'll be enjoying this one

rating seems a tad high given the review

Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Alex, I find that easily digestible metalcore albums only need three or four listens before I get a solid opinion of it, because it's nothing out-of-the-box. I like how it's short. It doesn't overwelcome itself. However, I hear a similar relentless "bashing-over-the-head" from Oh Sleeper's When I Am God, and hugely preferring their songwriting style. But they did drag that record out too long in comparison.

Fritz, you know, I was afraid of that. I would rate this a 2.7 if I could. Alas, 2.7 rounds to 3.

This Message Edited On 04.30.09

Essence
April 30th 2009



3583 Comments


"hey brewskiszewskis we need a cool band name"
"how about THE SPARTANS! that's ORIGINAL!"
"no man that's like, cliche or some shit"
"oh. fuck. how about those things the spartans drove"
"chariots?"
"Actually guys the Spartans--"
"shut up bassists, no one asked you"
"I hate you guys"
"yeah bro chariots! or.. wait! how about.. THE CHARIOT!"
"i love it"
"original"
"Hate you guys."

Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Haha, bassist.

AlexTM510
April 30th 2009



1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yea I can't stand Oh Sleeper....I think it came of a bit too generic for me.

Im no metalcore/hardcore guru but yea The Chariot's style stands a bit unique for me. Obviously Matt Goldman's production played a huge part on it but yea they def. have their own sound in some sense with Scogin's overpowering vocals which drives everything. Which is different from most metal bands where everything is kinda mixed together.

Essence
April 30th 2009



3583 Comments


I need to write an entire review like that, but I have to find an album worth it first. Something so fantastically average and lazy that it could only have come from California.

Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Alex, " Scogin's overpowering vocals which drives everything." I could say the same for Sleeper's Micah Kinard.

Jack/Joey?, I look forward to it. See that it doesn't slip under my unobservant radar.

Essence
April 30th 2009



3583 Comments


i am both and i am neither

Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Then you are Dunst?

With bold and everything?

AlexTM510
April 30th 2009



1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lol hmm well i guess thats preference. Maybe i should give the album a spin...i heard two songs from them but i couldn't even finish it because bleh...too generic

Waior
April 30th 2009



11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, Alex, to each his own dentifrice. I think the two albums are really similar, and my personal opinion is that When I Am God is just a lot better structured, even if it is too long.



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