If Bob Dylan made an alt punk record in the 1990’s it would sound like Chop Love Carry Fire.
The six song self-titled EP sprung from the collaboration of former Brad bassist Jeremy Toback, with journeyman drummer extraordinaire Butch Norton and Everest, Wash guitarist Joel Graves. The sound is a poetic mix of socio-political cynicism and eastern mysticism delivered in simple sing song melodies over heavy drums and distortion soaked guitars. The band is calling it “meaningful-core.” This potent brew has a sweet and sour punch with flavors of David Bowie, Lou Reed, early U2 and The Church.
Toback’s words are not for the faint hearted as he offers the commentary “save the world- save your breath -brave the girl- brave your death,” on the droning chant “Save.” Next he encourages us to “love the hate with all your might,” on “The Rhyme,” and blasts big business with “Wall Street is crashing – workers are laughing,” on “Sinner.”
But the most cutting sentiments of the EP are on the devastating “Didn’t Mean to Be American.” Toback lambastes America iconoclasm with a love song steeped in sarcasm declaring “I love our freedom – dumb wisdom of the masses –love the deep repression – that makes us shake our asses,” singing to a sparse, minor key piano, he wonders “I didn’t mean to be an American- how do we rule the world.”
If you like your rock fueled by a combination of angst and hope with anger and sorrow there is plenty for you here.