It had to happen eventually. The Chariot played their last show as a band on November 23rd where it all began: The 7 Venue in Douglasville, Georgia. They played a massive, 23-song set, which closed the only way it could have: “The Deaf Policeman” from The Fianceé. While I’m bummed to see the band go, they leave behind a dense, scorching catalogue, one that is rife with hits and creative technicality.
Long Live is the group’s penultimate release, coming a couple of years prior to their last album, One Wing. In a vow of solidarity with their fanbase, this record will go down as the one that saw half of its ten tracks directly named after individuals who won a contest: Evan Perks, Calvin Makenzie, Andy Sundwall, David De La Hoz, and Robert Rios. Few other groups could even attempt something like this without it being ridiculous – let alone pull it off. Somehow, though, the band makes it work.
For me, The Chariot always filled the void of heavy punk rock. Spastic and unpredictable, their brand of fast starts/hard stops, and usage of obscure samples and choirs against sheer abrasion was always so, so satisfying.
I love how all of their records managed to have such a distinct style and voice even though Josh Scogin and his revolving door of bandmates mostly stayed within the same sub-genre throughout their decade as a group. That is, with the one exception of their debut record, Everything is Alive, Everything is Breathing, Nothing is Dead, and Nothing is Bleeding, which was the logical progression after Scogin left Norma Jean.
That said, I can’t imagine the count on how many shitty hardcore bands have cropped up over time because of The Chariot’s influential sound. I was able to catch the group a number of times, and like their records, their live show will live on for years to come in other groups.
I’m thankful for a group like this, because they proved to me time and time again that even in a woefully tired genre of music, they were able to be innovative, creative and unique, time and time again.
From Long Live, this is “David De La Hoz” –
Standout tracks: “Evan Perks” and “The City”
Weakest track: “Robert Rios” – apologies to the real Robert Rios.
RIYL: Chaos, of either the organized or disorganized persuasions.