Frog on the Front - September 2005

by Tommy L

All too frequently the term ‘musical experimentalism’ is used, euphemistically, to replace ‘shite’. Many bands have hidden behind this label for years and made successful careers out of the fact that people are too afraid to question whether what they’re hearing is good, for fear of looking musically naïve. So pity Chaser, who had to perform their challenging, progressive rock to a sparse crowd who initially seemed more than happy to buck this trend. However, after immediately being struck by the ferocity of the band’s visionary invective, any potential cynics were soon nullified by their bludgeoning attack. Like a Mansun ‘Six’ with the rockingness levels turned up to eleven, their set was one typified by contradiction and contrast. A statuesque singer fronted a highly animated band, while a thundering rhythm section served to accentuate the guitar's subtlety. Too big for the stage in both physical presence and musical dynamism. Their use of variation in timing, volume and tone mark them out as far superior to any other ‘experimental’ local band I’ve seen in Portsmouth . Difficult to categorise, but easy to enjoy, it's almost impossible to find reasons for such meagre attendance. Upon leaving the gig my only real concern was my bewilderment as to how music of such complexity and intensity gets written. This should prove little distress for the band, however, so long as the process continues to herald such excellent results.