Review Summary: yay, despair!
This new Chastity album fucks. Hard.
follows the forgettable sophomore slump Homemade Satan
and picks up where the band’s excellent 2018 debut Death Lust
left off by continuing its delicious blend of grunge, punk, and floaty indie pop. While it adopts a more streamlined approach, mastermind Brandon Williams has not lost his DIY-edge whatsoever: if anything, Suffer Summer
manages to operationalise its quirks and relative clunkiness to accomplish highly loveable sonic landscapes. Opener ‘Real World’ wastes no time making Chastity’s intentions clear as it bursts with dense, distorted riffs and joyful acknowledgments of despair. Throughout its ten tracks, the record blasts through hooks upon hooks of such misery: the summery ‘Pummeling’ crafts a sparkling chorus out of “Throw me around again / My spirit’s caving in / Pummeling
”, while the borderline saccharine ‘Somersault’ contrasts its pristine tones with brutally honest reflections on present-day apocalypses.
Yet, Suffer Summer
is at its very best when contrasting Williams’ incredibly competent indie rock songwriting with odd production choices and, occasionally, unorthodox genre switches. The reverb-soaked banger ‘Overstimulate’ is closely followed by a country-infused collaboration with City and Colour (you know, Alexisonfire’s guitarist?) via some pristine piano playing. Random? Sure. It absolutely works, though - ‘Vicious Circle’ is a high-definition foray into bar anthem-inspired singalong yeehaw-isms, while retaining all of Chastity’s unfiltered depression in the lyrical department. Closing out Suffer Summer
, ‘Smiling’ presents the record’s very best cut: a dreamy conclusion to a satisfying record that feels like an amalgamation of this first chapter Chastity’s discography. The album is equal parts catchy, amateurish, and expertly written, while stubbornly taking necessary and unnecessary risks, thrusting itself into the limelight and gleefully affording the band a bright future.