The Chapman Family Announce “Burn Your Town”
The Chapman Family – Latest news
Debut Album | 7th March 2011 | PIAS/Electric Toaster Second Single “Anxiety” 28th February 2011
Kingsley, frontman of The Chapman Family, lives in Redcar (Southerner note: it’s a town Newcastle way), a place which recently made the national press when the local council, apparently out of embarrassment, began painting fake shop fronts on the boardings covering the windows of out-of-business shops in the town centre. According to Kingsley, “There’s now more virtual shops than real shops.” And there we have Britain as it is today – pretending everything’s ok, when it’s most definitely not.
Here to break the spell is Kingsley and his cohorts Paul Chapman, Pop Chapman and Phil Chapman; that’ll be The Chapman Family, then. Initially formed in 2006 out of frustration and boredom with the music he saw as a punter – “All these bands from Newcastle singing in a cockney accent and wearing a pork pie hat, trying to be The Libertines.” – they created a huge buzz around themselves as purveyors of brainy punk-metal around the turn of 2009, including an acclaimed stint on the NME Radar Tour. Then this band-as-cult seemingly went quiet, presumably to orchestrate the end of the world from a heavily armed compound.
The truth was the band went through “a catalogue of disasters and errors and opportunities missed.” With a commitment to the truth as deep as his baritone, Kingsley says, “We could have released an album 3 months after the Radar Tour and it would’ve been ok. But we want to make sure that what we present is good! We didn’t want to just record something and hope for the best.”
“Burn Your Town” is the very aptly titled debut album from The Chapman Family. Recorded with Future of the Left producer Richard Jackson (“We loved that huge bass and drums sound”), it’s one that expands The Chapman Family’s range hugely. Says Kinglsey, “We could have done ten tracks of angry noisy smashy guitars, but that’s a bit one dimensional. We’ve tried to do an album in cinemascope, Avatar, 3D style. It’s like an alternative version of Pet Sounds.”
A deliberate throwback to the way albums used to work, “Burn Your Town”, is meant to be listened to as one piece. “We wanted to make a slightly nostalgic album like those bands we used loved when we first started did – Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, The Strokes,” says Kingsley, “It’s not like providing a couple of songs for your iPod. We wanted to do old-school things to make it a more rounded piece.”
While fans of punk brutality won’t be disappointed by recent single “All Fall”, right from the opener “A Certain Degree” with it’s darkly close harmonies, and ambient dread, this album will surprise a lot of people. It sees the band emerging from the shadow of Joy Division into the widescreen netherworld of The Cure – a place in which they can nimbly shift between black-witted love songs like “Sound of the Radio” to the apocalyptic gloom of “1000 Lies” or “A Million Dollars” with its “three minute noise section, food processors on amps, drills on guitars…all creating a total horror noise to fit in with a song about murdering children in World War 2 Britain.” There’s a new brilliantly unhinged version of their sensational early single “Kids”, which somehow speeds up and intensifies the already speedy and intense original; it’s central ‘solo’ now sounds like a trepanning gone wrong. Plus, in “Anxiety” the album has an iron-clad hit : a spiralling, soaring pop song of heart bursting defiance which sneers “your best isn’t good enough,” but still somehow manages to be electrically uplifting. “Burn Your Town” finds the fertile black soil in the middle ground between The Horrors’ “Primary Colours” and The Cure’s “Pornography”, with stunning results.
The Chapman Family exist to provide a cathartic outlet for these people, and when “Burn Your Town” is released March 7th, a huge following is sure to mass around them. The single “Anxiety” will be released a week prior to the album on 28th February.
Tour dates with The Joy Formidable, including a London show at The Garage with Young Knives….
FEBRUARY w/ The Joy Formidable
01 – Old Fire Station, Bournemouth
02 – Thekla, Bristol
03 – Academy 2, Birmingham
04 – Club Academy, Manchester
06 – King Tuts, Glasgow
07 – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
08 – Academy 2, Newcastle
09 – Garage, London w/ Young Knives
11 – Plug, Sheffield
12 – St. Pauls, Cambridge
13 – Academy 2, Leicester