Review: The Chevin - Borderland [Album]

Review: The Chevin - Borderland [Album]

So Recordings // "The emotion that comes across in Coyle’s live interpretation of the song also comes across in the recorded version"

Review   2684 Views
Last Edited by: Chris MUG5 Maguire October 15th, 2012.

The Chevin (pronounced Shev-in) are a four-piece indie rock band of old school-friends who named themselves after a ridge that overlooks their hometown of Otley, Leeds. I came across the band last year when I photographed them supporting The Airborne Toxic Event and The Pigeon Detectives on their UK tours. Since then the band have played T In The Park, Late Night With David Letterman, The Conan O'Brien Show and received strong radio play as buzz around their debut release has grown gradually.
WATCH // 'Champion'

If you listened to The Chevin’s Champion EP, the opening three tracks of their new album, Borderland will be very familiar. Borderland’s track-listing starts with the single 'Champion' – an anthemic The Killers-esque song that instantly grabs the listener and gives a good introduction of what to expect from lead singer Coyle Girelli’s impressive vocal range. Next up is 'Drive', with a tick-tock sounding intro, a hook-laden chorus of the elongated, warbled ‘Dri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ve’, culminating in a crescendo of drums and guitars. The third track, 'Blue Eyes', was originally available as a free download when released as a single. This song departs from the indie-rock sound of the first two tracks and has a much more country feel with the ‘Way-O’ section popular with audiences echo-singing along in live sets.

WATCH // 'Blue Eyes'

Now on to the new tracks: 'Dirty Little Secret' was my favourite from when I’d caught the band live, so I was glad to see it has made it onto the album. I’m pleased to report that the emotion that comes across in Coyle’s live interpretation of the song also comes across in the recorded version as he sings “I’ll be your saint, I’ll be your sinner”.

At the start of the next track we’re tricked into thinking the album is going to calm down for a few tracks with quieter melodic, but rather melancholy tunes – however, it’s not long before we’re treated to driving guitars, Mal’s distinctive drums and Coyle’s angst-ridden vocals as the song 'Love is a Game' reaches its climax.

The band recorded and mixed the album near El Paso, Texas. Some of the songs have an audible influence from that area, in particular the title track, 'Borderland', which has an almost 'Apache' feel to it to accompany the desert lyric references.

'Beautiful World' is a more sedate song with the band calling for a better world where “we all live as one and at peace”. The lyrics are rather trite, and I can’t help but comment that the band have better songs than this to give us.

WATCH // 'Drive'

'Gospel' and 'Colours', on the other hand, bring the album back to the what I expect from The Chevin – more anthemic driving songs that showcase the bands use of keyboards alongside guitars and vocals that create songs I can’t help but want to sing along to.

The album closes with 'So Long Summer' – another song that starts sedately, but one where the vocals deliver the lyrics in a sincere way, perfectly leading up to a crescendo typical of The Chevin’s style.

All in all, with the exception of 'Beautiful World', an album packed with tunes delivered passionately that makes me look forward to the next time I get to see the guys live.

Borderland is out now in the US and out in the UK on 15 October 2012

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