Chapter And Verse have often felt like one of those bands who’ve been around for a while and have accumulated a rather indomitable CV, and yet they’ve not totally broken through yet. As impressive as main stage festival slots and endorsements from Metallica’s Lars Ulrich are (and for a band who’ve only been around for a couple of years, that’s nothing to sniff at), it doesn’t feel like a similar musical presence has been as present, and making that leap is what will take them on those next enormous steps without hesitation. So, while Glow might just feel like yet another minuscule piece of the Britrock release cycle on face value, under the surface, there’s a fair bit riding on Chapter And Verse to do something great here.
If that’s the case as well, Glow is definitely doing a good amount of heavy lifting for them here, seeing a band getting tantalisingly close to defining a great sound for themselves and showing just how well it can work. This is post-hardcore that actually harks back to when this genre could be seen as exciting or boundary-pushing, keeping that distinctly palatable Britrock aesthetic in tow, but with sharper angles and a much clearer desire to pivot into progressive territory. Minus A Devil In Blue and its awkward fixation on faster hardcore drumming that hardly ever feels like a good fit, the energy of this EP and how it’s managed has a consistent laser-focus that’s often a good deal more interesting than a lot of this band’s peers, like the sneering, curdled angst of Magazines or the much more prominent emotionality of Ink. There’s an impressive elasticity in Chapter And Verse’s vision that keeps the momentum rolling, even more so with lyrical content that doesn’t skimp on a rawness in its self-examination that so much alt-rock of this stripe can lack.
If there was anything to nitpick it would be in how the production has the colourlessness of the early 2010s which hasn’t aged well – especially when utilised on a track like The Casket which effectively renders it as a glorified intro – but even then, Chapter And Verse do well to avoid the weightlessness that acted as a similar blight, and in a sound that isn’t afraid to get a bit more ferocious and spiky, the harder edge that a fair amount of these tracks have is a lot more appealing in the long run. It certainly helps that Josh Carter has a uniquely rasping voice for this sort of music, and while bringing each piece together still doesn’t produce anything revolutionary, it’s a nice, more biting alternative that’s incredibly easy to get onboard with.
What’s more, Glow has a level of comfort about it that, rather than projecting itself as laziness or fatigue, actually works in Chapter And Verse’s favour. They’re not about to change the game with a sound like this, but they know that, and instead have opted to nudge the edges of their scene into something a bit more interesting. And on the whole, Glow does a fine job of that; it’s still got Britrock’s acute ear for a hook and melody, and giving those some more edge only strengthens the package as a whole. It feels like a good aperitif for more to come, and given the evidence here, that’s something worth looking forward to.
For fans of: Funeral For A Friend, Wallflower, Phoxjaw
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Glow’ by Chapter And Verse is released on 25th January.