Chaos 8 are a alternative quintet from the North East of England, they were forged in 2012 from the songwriting partnership of guitarist Paul Williams and vocalist Beki Straughan. They then expanded the line up with the addition of James Bowey, bass, Stevie Foster, drums, and David Mooney, keyboards, to create Chaos 8, they have been touring relentlessly since their inception and they remain defiantly independent.
Burn is a powerful album of alternative rock with strong post punk influences, musically they are reminiscent of a contemporary amalgamation of the best elements of the likes of late Killing Joke and Lemmy era Hawkwind, but all done with an individual style and flair that makes their material very much their own. They manipulate heavy guitar riffs and combine them with elements of dub and rock, the result is a ferocious and uncompromising album. Musically Chaos 8 are a force to be reckoned with, the guitars are brutal and to the fore, the drums are relentless and precise whilst the keyboards compliment their arrangements, rather than dominating them. in particular Beki Straughan‘s vocals are outstanding throughout the entirety of Burn, powerful and melodic but all the while rasping with constrained fury.
For me the best two tracks on the album are the opening track, At The End, this is a brutal pounding introduction that certainly grabs your attention from the opening seconds of Burn, the driving rocker Chemical Reaction is the other highlight, it boasts a heavy chugging guitar riff and pummelling drum beat. Whilst these two tracks are the ones that stood out for me, it must be stated that this is a remarkably consistent and engaging album across all of it’s ten tracks.
Chaos 8 are a million miles away from Beki Straughan‘s other band, Loaded 44, who are a much more punky affair, and that is a testament to her songwriting, as if the content of Burn wasn’t enough on it’s own. Chaos 8 have their sophomore album in the pipline, on the basis of the four track promo that provided a tantalising glimpse of their next album, Cause And Effect, it sounds like they have honed their sound to a razor sharp point and I can’t wait to hear the full album later this year. Mysteriously Chaos 8 remain unsigned, this is something that needs to rectified on the strength of their stunning debut and their forthcoming album.
You can purchase Burn from iTunes or direct from the bands Facebook page