Release Date: Mar 13, 2012
Record label: Manimal
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
A random thought: we’re guessing Vancouver newcomers Chains Of Love probably aren’t named after the Erasure song of the same name. The sextet started out life as the world’s most inconsequential side-project, when Felix Fung – aka the main techy guy at cult studio Little Red Sounds – decided to live out his Motown fantasies during work downtime by calling up the cream of the nearby musical crop, inviting them over to jam out a few Shangri-Las riffs and, well, that was it. Until, that is, they stumbled across last year’s debut single ‘You Got It’ – an irresistible take on late-’60s R&B that crammed practically every cliché of the pop-soul-pastiche book into its two minutes and 41 seconds, yet still remained shockingly brilliant.
Chains of LoveStrange Grey Days[Manimal Vinyl; 2012]By Kerri O'Malley; March 22, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGIn many ways, Chains of Love’s seven-song debut, Strange Grey Days is just another retro-revival record in a long and bustling line. Listening to the girls of Chains coo in close approximations to The Shangri-Las, or at least The Continental Co-Ets, more modern bands like The Black Belles, Vivian Girls, and Those Darlins come to mind. All combine a garage rock sensibility with some serious girl-group lust.
As prevalent as the 1960s girl-group sound has been in indie rock over the past five years, no one would ever mistake these modern variations for the real deal. Rather, the most visible of the contemporary torch-bearers have subjected that classic pop sensibility to corrupting influences: Dum Dum Girls toughen it up with a 1970s CBGB spirit, Vivian Girls smother it in the the haze of C86-era indie, while Cults play up the connection between booming "Be My Baby" kick drums and hip-hop breaks. Vancouver's Chains of Love, however, present no such immediately differentiating characteristic or subversive streak.
CHAINS OF LOVE play the El Mocambo March 23 and the Horseshoe March 24 as part of CMW, and April 13 at the Great Hall. Rating: NNN Chains of Love began as a recording project concocted by Vancouver-based engineer/studio owner Felix Fung and guitarist Clint Lofkrantz as a throwback girl group. That it was preconceived may distress rock purists, but that approach allowed them to put together a crack six-piece team of local talents to suit the style.
Vancouver-based Chains of Love released this 7-song debut this past spring on Manimal Vinyl and it’s a nouveau-retro winner that delivers a fresh, but faithful take on the old school musical stylings of the 60s and 70s, mixing vibrant 60s Girl Group harmonies and Wall of Sound dynamics with 70s organ psychedelia and more modern, sharply angular guitar lines. What sets Chains of Love apart from being a mere nostalgic act is the band’s tight, catchy tunes, the high quality blend of various eras, and the compelling vocals of lead singer Nathalia Pizzaro and vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Marie Law Gray. Rounding out the band is guitarist Felix Fung, who is also the owner and engineer of Little Red Sound.