(As always, you can probably find better reviews out there, such as this one.)
I first had the pleasure of listening to Chartered Heston when my mother e-mailed me to listen to her co-workers new band. I was a tad apprehensive, but this is the same office that has housed other Canadian indie darlings, including a band member of Said the Whale to name one...
Not that I’m name dropping or anything here.
I will fully admit to not being blown away, however the sound was different enough, the chorus and bass line catchy and it of course helped that there was a bit of a personal (albeit, to this day I still haven’t really met him) connection. It wasn’t long (I believe, later that night) when I asked for more. I was therefore dubbed favourite person of the day by said co-worker, a feeling I can relate to as a struggling artist hoping to get some feed back.
It wasn’t long before I given the full EP to listen to, and again while some songs do stand out, the over all feel of it is a highly polished, if a slightly dated band. Had this band been in say the 90s, I’m sure it’d be a lot easier to get radio play or popularity, although this isn’t exactly the teenagers in the garage next door type of music. There is a definite polish and professionalism that seeps into each song and leaves you with a funky, if not fully unique sound.
Now, it wasn’t until I showed up to their live concert at the Media Club that I really took any interest in the history of the band. To this point I was mostly given a couple of songs, told to listen and enjoyed them. When they came up on my ipod, I enjoyed listening and could sing along with the lyrics, however I did classify them to something that makes great background music that doesn’t necessarily scream out for too much attention but is enjoyable enough.
After attending the show though, I was blown away by their sound and ability. In comparison to the bands--okay, I’ll be honest. There was no comparison. The other bands were ... well they were kinda crap. Awkward, no stage prescience and really awful sound, to the point where you couldn’t really hear the singers.
Not Chartered Heston though, they were able to prove that you could really get through a set, even in a small venue and rock out. The sound was practically impeccable, their stage prescience showed a general laid back nature and while there were maybe one or two flaws, it did not seem like the typical first live performance feel that it was--despite name dropping a little too much. It was polished, clean and there was a reason they had the largest crowd.
I think the biggest thing and possible secret weapon that Chartered Heston has going for them is that they’re a relatively new band. Their EP was recorded in January 2010 and if they can find such a connection between the members, a polished sound and the ability to put on a good show at such a relatively young “age” then I think we can only expected bigger and better things as they continue to grow and experiment.
They’re definitely a band to check out and follow, and not just cause I can name drop them later.
Songs to check out:
(Author's note: The only thing that could have stolen the show was the guy we dubbed Sleepy!Guy. A rather dashing gentleman who had fallen asleep in his hipster plaid shirt when we first arrived at the venue but after loosing him for most of the show, we managed to find him when the third band came on: front and centre and dancing, Napoleon Dynamite style, without a care in the world. (the only thing that made this better was the fact that one of the guitarist looked quite a bit like Pedro) It was as if nothing else interested him until that moment, when a rather... medicore band came on and while not thought of as conventionally danceable, showed us all up with his killer moves.
Sleepy!Guy, you are my hero.
And should anyone read this who knows how I can get ahold of him, I'd love to be his BFF <3)