"Break The Chains" by The Rising


"Break The Chains" by The Rising

Review

I hope you have been following the progression of singles released by The Rising from their upcoming ‘No Hope Without Love' EP?  Following April's "You Had It All"  and June's "Bruise You Left", guitarist Chris Logan & vocalist Chantelle McAteer are sharing the third instalment, "Break The Chains", with us on 23rd July, keeping to their promise of new material every six weeks.

Recorded once again at their own Renegade Maverick studios with the additional help once again of drum parts flown over from Nashville courtesy of Chris Brush and mastering by Pete Maher, "Break The Chains" plays a card which the duo like to play from time to time and keep us fully on our toes, namely offering something significantly different to much of their other work. You'll recollect I hope the most startling of these wild cards, "Shadows on the Wall" from last year which deals with child abuse but that is merely the most high profile of such songs which punctuate the tales of love gone wrong  and from time to time, gone right. "Ain't Nobody Got Me Here But Me" from earlier this year also broke a few boundaries for them to add another example.

I have often paused when talking about The Rising to others: especially describing their music as their name comes from their favourite Bruce Springsteen album, yet listening to their body of work, you'd be hard pressed to guess that he is an artist they admire so much given the frequent country style they adopt. Now though they seem ready to go more "Boss" for us and I'm glad they have. Drawing not just on Springsteen's inspiration but that of artists such as Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan (who of course has recorded several country flavoured albums and duetted with Johnny Cash), they have decided to speak out on issues which move them and have written a protest song.

Being The Rising however, they feel no especial need to sound like any of those three above mentioned musicians (let's face it could anyone mistake Chantelle's voice for that of Bob Dylan? They are pretty distinct). However serious their words may be, the sound is their trademark breezy one: I suspect they care sufficiently about what they are saying that they'd like people to listen to it: which arguably a downbeat traditional protest song would achieve less well (which reminds me of the late Neil Innes' "Protest Song" parody ".."I've suffered for my music and now it's your turn.."). In fact the clarity of Chantelle's diction in her singing is a major bonus for getting such messages across rather better than some other practitioners of similar sentiment. Add in her passionate and intense vocal honesty and you do get a strong message.

Themed around a sense of aiming for global emancipation from negative elements such as racism and gender inequality in favour of a greater sense of common experience and need, this is the song in which the overall EP's name crops up among the lyrics. Painting an apocalyptic picture of what the alternative might be (and if we don't watch out is already shaping up to be), not only is the singing intense but the backing is built to match: something far further along the band's spectrum of edginess than normal, the guitar solo in particular sparks with a righteous anger. Interestingly, this song is the third I've reviewed this year already to use "the sky is on fire" as an image of impending doom: following in the highly respected footsteps of Ellie Gowers & of Luke Concannon. Let's hope they are all wrong in the longer term.

I do appreciate it when artists take us by surprise by the form as well as content of songs: it's a mark of distinction and given that as I write this, their current single "Bruise You Left" has just become their first track to surpass 10,000 streams, many others are waking up to their worth. Let's hope that "Break The Chains" touches a similar chord & gets even more.

In terms of live work, I'm pleased to see that the band were able to return from their relocation for last weekend's "Pub In The Park" gig in Warwick and they have been named too as playing the BBC Introducing Stage at the Big Feastival on 29th August.

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