What had begun as a vehicle for singer-songwriter Reed Kendall’s solo project has now developed into a full band – a rollicking trio from Philadelphia featuring Noah Skaroff on a mean-walking bass and Kirby Sybert on skins. Up The Chain have a new album, The Prison Break, and this sounds like what a good old-fashioned rock & roll trio should sound like.
Kicking off with “Kelly Green”, which is a neat neo-psychedelic opening montage of drone, feedback, some radio snippets and segueing into “Crumbling The Stone”, for some reason, I felt/heard touches of Buffalo Springfield, especially in the harmonies and some of the riffs (nice use of 7th as well); “Sidecar” is a down-home slice of boogie and as catchy as any of those early rock records you listened to when you were a kid in the ’70’s and “Departed Trains” has a cool Chris Isaak-like feel with its heavy reverb and minor chord structures – it’s also a great “cinematic” track as it has atmosphere and visual lyrics. “Globe”‘s church organ with echo/delay guitar lends to the melancholic nature of the song but equally gives a depth and loveliness to the melody, which becomes much more lush as the song unfolds and “Start Of A Ghost” is acoustic heaven – stripped down and stark with sweet harmonies mixed in.
Sometimes, it’s just refreshing to hear no-funny business, straight-forward rock & roll – no bullshit, straight melodies and hooky songs. That’s the core and essence. And it seems to me, Up The Chain – as a band – definitely have it. A good one, for sure.
The Prison Break is available now