Blending the porcelain pop of Coldplay with artfully ramshackle rock, L.A.’s Chasing Kings may seem a little staid compared with some of the more experimental bands on the indie landscape, but beneath the implacable surface of their debut EP, The Current State of Our Future, lies the pounding heart of a group of musicians who would dearly love to swoop in and carry you off to heartbreaking rock & roll heights. They don’t quite get there here — these songs all go down smooth, but they leave behind a lingering vanilla aftertaste — but they do get a lot closer than any band has a right to with its first release.
This is partly by virtue of the EP’s spotless pedigree — it was produced by Tony Berg, so clearly, there’s some money in The Current State of Our Future — but for the most part, it holds up for the simplest of reasons: the songs are solid, if not especially flashy, held together by a muscular rhythm section, bright, sinewy guitars, and supple, pleasantly sandy vocals. The record’s sound is so spotless that nothing really has a chance to reach out and grab you; still, even if you aren’t knocked off your feet, you should still find yourself swaying. It’s a pleasant sensation, and you also get the feeling that this is the work of a real band — one that probably kicks a little mid-tempo ass in concert. Next time out, I’d like to hear something with a little more raw heat from Chasing Kings, but in the meantime, there are far worse ways to fill up space on your iPod.
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