Chapter and Verse deliver a page turner of an EP, showing great promise with strong and catchy songwriting.
You can argue that music as mainstream entertainment, where money and big businesses get involved, is where the medium starts to falter. To a lot of people, this kills the soul of the music, or makes it lose its sense of art. It’s a very cynical way to look at things and might make us forget that some bands out there just have a knack for making really fun and engaging music that’s more ‘ethical’ to support. Free-range music, so to speak. That’s where I see a band like Chapter and Verse. They are relatively young up-and-comers from London. On their second EP, Glow, they look to tighten their already solid writing and performances up, and bring a little more variance to their alt-rock sound that, like a good book, makes it so you can’t put it down.
It’s hard to ignore the faint resemblance to other bands like Coheed and Cambria, but while that will likely be a selling point to people like me, rest assured they are properly their own institution with their own idiosyncrasies. Even with five songs, Chapter and Verse impress with the breadth of music they can create. Every song is notably different from the others, each has its own hook to latch into you with staying power. This is the kind of band you find and get excited about because you can see their potential and how they’ve made good on the opportunities presented to them so far.
As important as intro tracks are, I’d say that Chapter and Verse take a bit of a gamble making “The Casket” their lightest track. The first half is structured like a ballad; the vocals are gentle, the guitars are wispy and flow like a light wind, and things just feel right. It progresses into a more full-bodied track with a nice pop punk edge. It’s still subdued, the band choosing not to show their hand upfront (which is smart), and ends up being a great track to lead into the rest of the EP. “Magazines”, the second track, is where they unwind a bit more. The music is headier, choruses reveal themselves to be sickeningly catchy, and we see the versatility at play.
If you’re like me, you’ll notice that Chapter and Verse aren’t one to depend on one trick, simply showing it to their audience from different angles to feign diversity in their craft. Nope, this pony is capable of a lot. That’s how we get tracks like “Eleven Hours in Real Time” and “A Devil in Blue”, the latter of which is instilled with a punk ethos. We get quickened, punchy drums and a raw spirit to the overall sonics. This injection of energy doesn’t betray the softer side of the band seen earlier in the EP, but provides another natural facet to their approach to contemporary rock. It shows yet another way the quartet give their all. “Ink” bookends the EP with a slower affair, which makes for a good comedown with heartfelt vocals that beg to be sung along to.
A quick glance at their first EP, weighing the progression between then and now, yields one fact: Chapter and Verse are on an incline. This is right where a band like them want to be. No band worth talking about wants a sophomore slump, not to rest on any laurels developed in the short years they’ve been around. Their creative energy shows they’re out to do some damage, engage all willing listeners, and make a deep mark. Glow is the game-winning play that makes this band the team to root for. Now if only they’d make a jersey for fans to buy… size-XXL please?