Album Review

Chalk - Conditions II

Flexing the full breath of their electro-punk muscle.

Chalk - Conditions II

Thundering out of the notional ‘gate’ in a stampede of violent electro-explosions, the opening of Belfast outfit Chalk’s second EP could hardly be more exhilarating. Like Gilla Band if they were having their guts reconstituted while time-warping through a worm-hole at a million mph, ‘The Gate’ is an adrenaline-spiking headrush of volcanic sensationalism. And while the rest of ‘Conditions II’ never reaches quite the same level of excitement, Chalk undoubtedly flex the full breath of their electro-punk muscle on the remaining three tracks. The sensuous, seedy clublands of ‘Claw’ - which they aptly describe as like “falling in love inside a nightmare” - takes a leaf from the PVA playbook in the way it crawls under the skin and burrows into bones through slimy techno rhythms. The intensely uncomfortable ‘Kevlar’ offers four minutes of catatonic fug, rendering all the endless horrors of a traumatic dream via a barrage of overwhelming synthscapes and harrowing vocal cries. Closer ‘Bliss’ takes another unexpected turn still, with an emotional overload of VLURE-esque gothic disco now added to the menu. On ‘Conditions II’, rather than providing us with a cohesive listen, the trio choose to deafen our ears, rattle our bodies and brusquely declare exactly what they’re capable of doing.

Tags: Chalk, Reviews, EP Reviews

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