I’m very frustrated right now as I write this. It is because I cannot find a certain funny “misheard lyrics” video for The Chariot. You can stop reading now if you thought it was something actually important.
Shortly after “Phil Cosby (Before There Was Atlanta, There Was Douglasville)” was released, a humorous internet person released an interpretation of the song. The actual lyrics begin “This ain’t my first rodeo” – but it does kind of sound like lead vocalist Josh Scogin actually says “This ain’t my first potato.”
For this post, I wanted to include said video, and it is nowhere to be found on YouTube or the rest of the tubes of the internet.
Did I make it up?
Did I imagine it?
Is this all some sort of hoax?
Conspiracy theories aside, The Fiancée is the second full length release from Douglasville, Georgia’s single greatest offspring. This statement is supported by the fact that no other famous people have ever been born there. I even Googled it.
This album follows the Unsung EP, which changed everything for the band. Previously, with Everything is Alive, it felt very much like Scogin and a revolving band of music makers were trying to produce, in effect, Norma Jean 2. Thankfully, with the release of Unsung, the band honed in on a unique, chaotic and destructive sub-genre of hardcore. It’s been described as mathcore, but I generally reserve that label for bands like The Number Twelve Looks Like You.
The band, whose members seem to change with every tour, plays each night with boundless energy, its members hanging upside down from the rafters of dive bars or ascending 10 foot high stacks of speaker cabs and jumping off with reckless abandonment and little regard for their bodies.
It’s this same type of spirit and fortitude that one hears in a Chariot record. And while it’s all but impossible to capture the power and sweat of their haphazard live show, producer Matt Goldman did everything in his power to attempt such a feat.
Stupid fast, in your face, lots of feedback, breathy screaming, a guest appearance by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and an acapella arrangement to cap it off? Might seem all over the place in theory – but in execution, it’s a carefully crafted experiment that worked.
I’m glad to say The Chariot have only gotten better with age. The Fiancée was just a starting point. Follow-ups Wars and Rumors of Wars, Long Live, and One Wing each do their best at one-upping their older siblings. The resulting discography is a discordant riot that some may hear only as a holy mess.
But once a listener has acquired the taste for this brand of heavy music, The Chariot is some next-level, artisan level goodness.
Pretty sweet steampunk-inspired album art, too.
From 2007’s The Fiancee (sheesh, it’s already been 6 years since this came out?), this is The Chariot’s “They Faced Each Other” –
Standout tracks: “Back to Back” and “And Shot Each Other” and “The Trumpet”
Weakest track: “The Two Dead Boys” – not a bad tune though, and it does have a fantastic breakdown.
RIYL: Haste the Day, Norma Jean, Converge. Thrash, punk, hardcore. If you try to call it mathcore, I will punch you in the stomach with one thousand tigers.