Volume 95, Issue 82

Friday, March 8, 2002
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The New Deal explains the demise of the mullet

Music is Chore's duty

Green faces at Tomato a rarity

Jordy needs fun pill

Shits and Giggles

Music is Chore's duty

By Brian Wong
Gazette Staff

Chore is taking care of business.

Not only did the band release their third album The Coastaline Fire just two weeks ago – a record quickly rising on college radio charts – they've also begun selling out shows on their current tour.

Perhaps the decision to let Alex Newport – who's also worked with the Melvins and At The Drive-In – produce the disc has paid off.

"It's true that having him produce our record has given us a lot more attention," says Chris Bell, Chore's vocalist and guitarist. "A lot more people are writing about us, so it's definitely helped us get our music out to more people."

Newport was also able to capture the hard-driving instrumentation of the band that consists of Bell's brother, bassist Mike Bell, guitarist/vocalist Mitch Bowden and drummer/vocalist David Dunham. The result is a leaner, meaner and more sonically-dynamic record than the band's previous releases.

"Alex is great at recording big rock sounds," Bell says. "Our drummer Dave really pounds on the drums and Alex as an engineer really knew how to record them so that they'd sound great on the record."

Production aside, it's the songwriting that forms the meat of the album. The Coastaline Fire finds the group moving from their early hard rock roughness to a balance between loud and soft, placing a greater emphasis on melodies and lyrics.

The slowly burning threat of the first single, "The Hitchhiker," sets the pace for the rest of the record, which travels far and wide across a duelling landscape filled with steady, yet scorching guitars, controlled, but explosive vocals and drums that start as a slight drizzle and end up in a torrential downpour of rhythm.

"For me, it has a lot to do with where I live," he says, adding his hometown of Dunville is partially responsible for the band's somewhat cryptic lyrics.

"I live in the country and it's something I feel very influenced by. [Landscapes are] a very open-ended subject – whether you're a pro-environmental person or whether you're a person that works for a garbage company – you can relate to their land because everybody lives on it," he says.

The band's homebase may also contribute to the atmospheric nature of their music. "Dunville's good for space," Bell says. "And it's a good place to go for a walk – lots of forests, lots of beaches. Lake Erie is here and [there's] the Grand River that empties out into the lake – it's more of a relaxing kind of feel."

Although the band has drawn from the open expanse of their surroundings, it isn't something that is entirely intentional. The members of Chore share in the songwriting and the ideas that spring forth are not much of a conscious decision, but rather being able to meet on the same page.

"I know we don't go to each other and say, 'Look, why don't you go write a song about ghosts in the lake or something,'" he explains. "I just think our mentalities are all coming from the same place and we all have the same kind of idea what we're writing about."

And for a band whose name reflects all the hard work that goes into making music and getting it to reach people, they still find the time to fit in everyday chores.

"I like vacuuming," Bell admits. "Doing dishes is probably my least favourite."

Chore play Call the Office tomorrow night with The End, Boys Night Out, The Khedive and more. Tickets are $6 at the door.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002