TR8R plus Chasing Sunsets

Venue : The Chess Suite, Chesham United Football Club
Date : Friday 28 August 2009
Date of writing this review : 30 August 2009

This was billed as The Result and was intended to both celebrate the end of exams and the launch of TR8R’s new ep, fresh from their triumphant performance at Hobble On The Cobbles the previous Sunday.  And do not be misled by their age, the age of the audience, or the venue – this is a proper band, developing their own material, and using a top class sound system in putting on an excellent performance.

Support for the evening were another young, local band, Chasing Sunsets, producing their brand of alternative rock/pop punk, and they started their set with The End.  The sound builds from Matt Baron’s drums, Dan Giles’ guitar starts to bite through and then it all rumbles off, with Joe Bernie’s vocals crying out.  The sound comes together hard and fast, then settles and eases along with the vocals loud and forceful, and it really does have that pop punk feel to it, big sounds hitting together, the guitar screeching out as the drums roll and Oli Adams’ bass thumps.  The tempo really picks up as the guitar bites again and flows, and it all drives on to…the end.  The drums hit off again into Together as the guitar riffs and the bass thuds.  It eases down into more melodic guitar as the vocals come in, a gentle sound as the cymbals ripple through, before it hits off and they are rocking again, rolling on as the vocals soar, with guitar flourishes coming through.  Then it holds and the crowd clap along before the guitar bites and the bass rumbles and it launches off again, the vocals soaring once more, before it rolls to a close.  Next up is Written In The Stars, opening with some bouncy guitar, the cymbals rattling and the vocals crying out.  There is a pointed beat from the guitar sound and the bass before it rolls along, airy, just waiting for those drums to kick in and it rocks away.  It eases down again and the guitar flows through, a melodic sound, and the crowd clap along as the guitar sound builds, pushing through, and it rolls away once more before easing into the finish.  Dan’s guitar chimes through as they play their version of Mr. Brightside by The Killers, the drums rolling in with the vocals and it has a high tempo feel to it.  The bass hits in and it moves off racing, the guitar having a hard sound now as it cuts in against the vocals, and it has a big beat as it flows away.  There is a great guitar hook coming through as it bounces along very upbeat, holding then as the guitar flows through and the crowd are clapping along again, before it hits off, racing, with a wonderful rhythm from the drums and bass, and it fades to a close.  The guitar rolls through for Looking For You, which will be on their mini-album in September, and the sound picks up as the drums tap in.  The bass gently thumps as the vocals flow in, and it sways along.  Then the guitar riff kicks with a harder edge and drives it on, rocking now but still with a light feel, before it eases down into the original melodic guitar, the vocals flowing along and rising as it hits off again.  The guitar is screeching now and the riff bites as it moves on, before it eases again to a close.

Melodic guitar with a full sound leads us into their cover of You’ve Made Your Bed (So Sleep In It) by You Me At Six, the drums tap along and the bass adds depth as the vocals flow.  It has a warm, airy, ballad feel until the drums kick in and it blasts away, racing now as the vocals dominate, the guitar running under them.  It pauses and the guitar sound circles until the drums kick and it hits off again, pausing again for the guitar riff to push us on and it rocks away before coming to a sharp close.  “Something’s broken – we need a pedal”, says Joe, but after a short break all is well again and they start to build the sound into The Cold Front, some very big bass which is really rumbling through, fast guitar riffing – although they may just have been warming up again because then they go into the real sound of the track, loud crashing guitar riffs, the drums blasting, the bass thumping and it really kicks off as the powerful vocals rise.  It is rocking away now with the guitar riffing hard and the bass bouncy, a hard edge to the deep sound as it pounds on with the drums crashing through.  It eases into a guitar part before the drums crash off again to bring us to the end.  Don’t Think. Shoot ! is from their debut ep, circling guitar with a full bass sound, the drums tap through and the vocals ease in over the top of it all, a mellow feel which gently grows before buzzing away, racing now.  It eases down into the vocals and rolls on, guitar riffs coming hard through it as the bass pounds, then it kicks off again and races again, the drums blasting away.  It eases again before the guitar shoots off, the track then coming together again and it races once more, flowing through again and again as it pushes on strong to the close.  Funky guitar takes us into Beer by Reel Big Fish, and they are combining a whole lot of sounds in this, some ska, southern rock, a punk edge, rockabilly, then it hits off and they rock, with guitar flourishes bursting through.  It is a light sound as it pushes on with a high tempo, before easing down and the crowd are bouncing.  It shuffles on before hitting off again, really pushing into a maniac sound now as it gets faster and faster, and the guitar screeches through on top to close it out.  They finish their set with Best Friend, which will also be the final track on their mini-album.  Dan’s guitar crunches in and the track blasts off, creating a big noise before it settles.  It holds and then kicks away again, before holding once more as the guitar sound builds, pierces through, and the track blasts off again and rolls.  It eases before kicking again with big drums from Matt, the guitar jumping about as Oli’s bass throbs, and it races away again.  It pauses into deep drums and biting guitar, holding as Joe’s vocals come through, starts to build, holds, and then kicks off, layer of sound after layer of sound as it moves along, pushing to a big finish to a fun set.

You can see Chasing Sunsets play an acoustic set at Fusion at The Elgiva in Chesham on Saturday 5 September.

The memories of TR8R’s excellent performance at Hobble On The Cobbles were still fresh (and I know I still have that review to write up), so I was looking forward to seeing more of them tonight.  What I did not know was that they were going to be playing two sets…so take a deep breath as this review may be a long one.  Mickey’s guitar crunches out a big sound and it flows off jumping, with Conor’s drums crashing in, George’s bass thumping, and they are racing away, building up a rising sound before easing as the guitar cuts through into Let Go, the drums pounding with the bass as it pushes on and Vicky’s vocals come in as the guitar throws out riffs.  Vicky’s vocals are full and rounded, very smooth and flowing and have really developed in the relatively short time I have been following the band, and the track pauses before her vocals fly us away into the chorus.  The track kicks away and then eases again as the vocals continue on, the beat then getting thicker as we hit into the chorus again, before it thrashes off into a big sound, scratchy guitar biting through sharp, an intricate flourish in the solo from this quite brilliant guitarist, and then the track rolls away again into a flowing big sound, driven by the drums into the close.  Their sets tonight are going to be a mixture of their excellent original material and their take on some covers.  Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy is the first of the covers, the drums kicking in and the bass rumbling as the crowd clap along and the vocals flow through.  The sound picks up as the guitar comes in, and it races off, the guitar part pushing through high, then kicking away again, with a great guitar lick.  The track has almost a marching beat to it before it eases into the vocals, then races away again, and the guitar cuts in, rising with the drums crashing, the sound pulsing along wit the guitar flowing now, and it all rolls away and shuffles into the end.  They follow that with All The Small Things by Blink 183, everything crashing in and racing on, before easing as the vocals come in, the sound still keeping a hard edge.  The guitar cuts in and the drums hit and roll, and they keep it very upbeat with the guitar riffing through, pausing as the drums roll and the guitar builds and it blasts away before rolling to a close.  Some big guitar launches us into Memories In Mind, some lovely bass rumbling from George, and the drums crashing through.  The sound eases as the vocals come in, before it bursts off again, the guitar biting through, the sound building up then racing away uptempo, having a sharp edge as the vocals flow smoothly, the guitar part then flowing through.  Bouncy drums hit in from Conor and the bass is pulsing, the guitar riff cutting before it all flows again.  The vocals have got a very full sound and lead us into another lovely bass part from George, then the guitar slides through, becomes sharp, pointed, and the sound comes together again and it races to the end.  On into another cover, this time I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor by the Arctic Monkeys, the drums tapping in as the guitar circles in hard, the bass solid as the drums thump.  The guitar pierces through, rising, sharp, circling and then flowing, and the vocals come in over the top of the hard, heavy sound, bouncing along with a poppy feel.  The guitar slides in again and it rocks on, pausing into the drums crashing, with the bass thumping and the guitar cutting in to finish it off.

Vicky tells everyone to go crazy, though they have needed no prompting so far, and a big riff hits us into Suck My Kiss by Red Hot Chili Peppers, the drums crashing through with a big sound and the bass thumping, together they provide such a tight rhythm as the track rumbles on loud and hard.  The vocals are on top, adding to the stacatto feel of the rhythm, and the guitar is really ripping through, and the track has a noticable edge to it as it thuds along.  Vicky’s vocals have really got hold of this one, driving it along, very much in perfect combination with her rhythm section, and the guitar is cutting in but it is the vocals which dominate.  Then the guitar pierces through sharp, and the track rumbles on with the vocals taking over again, shouting out at times as they take us to a sharp finish.  They follow it up with Emergency by Paramore, the drums hiting and the guitar chiming in melodic, before it all thumps off with the drums kicking and the guitar riffing as the bass is pounding away.  It is moving in waves as the vocals come in, rising, melodic, and the guitar jumps through, bouncing, melodic, circling, before hiting away again.  It keeps on rolling, one layer after another, and is a perfect example of how they produce that pop/rock feel within a track.  It eases off into the vocals and the guitar screeches, very sharp, piercing, with the bass throbbing along.  It hits off again to roll into the close.  “We are here tonight because we are releasing a 5 track ep, and you will not have heard three of the songs before.  This is the first of those three”, says Vicky, leading us into Downfall.  The guitar eases in with gentle vocals, melodic, mellow, the cymbals tapping in.  Then it explodes into wonderful crashing, rolling drums from Conor, blasting guitar, the bass rumbling and the vocals come in as it rolls away, uptempo and rocking.  It eases a little then hits off again, rolling away as the guitar cuts through, a big sound pushing on with a hard edge, lots of interaction between the instruments as they run below the vocals, lots of flourishes from the drums, the bass thumping.  It pauses and builds, and then the guitar flows through, the drums rolling hard as the guitar pierces high, and the track rocks on before easing down into the original guitar part with the vocals to close a very enjoyable song.  They move on into a cover of Use Somebody by the Kings Of Leon, the drums crashing in, harmony vocals soaring as the bass thumps and the guitar bites.  It eases down into Vicky’s vocals with the guitar stacatto riffing, the track gently bouncing along before the drums pick it up and it hits off harder, the sound building and soaring, a great rhythm forcing its way through.  It eases down again and the drums really kick in, very powerful drumming from such a young drummer, and the guitar riff picks it up again as the bass drives us and the vocals flow out.  It rumbles along with a big sound into a considered guitar solo, then rolls on and fades to a close.  They end this first set with Stay The Same, another of the unheard tracks from their new ep, Numbers.  Conor’s drums smash in and George’s bass rumbles, as Mickey’s guitar riffs through furiously, sharp and melodic, and the sound ease as Vicky’s vocals come in, but retains that hard edge.  The vocals soar as the guitar plays about, piercing, buzzing around, the drums then moving us on and the vocals flow.  The guitar is still jumping around the complex rhythm, but the vocals stay smooth, pushing the melody, as the drums pound in with the guitar racing.  The sound pauses as the vocals come through again, with little drum bursts kicking in, before the drums really kick off and flowing guitar races away once more, the bass pounding along with it, and the sound builds into a big finish to both an excellent track and an excellent first set.

They open their second set with the brilliant title track from their new ep, Numbers.  I have heard this many times over the last few months and it just keeps on getting better and better, and I am looking forward to actually hearing the recorded version.  It opens with a guitar hook which continues to remind me of the opening to Harmony Korine by Steven Wilson, and if you know me and my musical tastes then you know that comparison is high praise indeed.  The hook circles melodic and the drums gently crash in as the vocals flow through, the bass rumbling as the guitar circling builds, the track easing along now as it builds, the guitar sound becoming fuller, then the drums kick in and the vocals take us away.  The bass thumps through with the drums as the guitar gets a harder edge with some big riffing before it all rocks away with an upbeat, racing, big hard sound, which really suits Vicky’s vocals as they soar, and the track drives on.  It pauses into some big riffing as the crowd clap along, and builds with the drums thumping.  Holding now as the vocals soar, then kicking off again, rocking hard with the guitar flying around, wonderful harmony vocals from George and Mickey flowing behind Vicky’s vocals, and they have created a massive sound which kicks into a close.  It is worth getting the ep for that track alone, in my humble opinion, and they follow it up with a cover of a far worse song, Want You Bad by The Offspring (and I can say that, because I have the album).  There is a big kick and it races off, hard edged, uptempo, the melodic vocals flowing as the bass rumbles, the guitar riffing hard as they produce a hard and heavy sound, pausing for the vocals to push through, then moving into a sharp guitar solo, before it rolls off again, racing with the guitar crunching into the end.  The drums also kick us into Harder To Breathe by Maroon 5, the guitar taking a funky feel with the bass as the vocals come in, stacatto and deliberate.  It moves along with a hard, pointed feel, shuffling, a tight sound with the guitar cutting through and the vocals soaring.  The guitar starts to climb, wailing, pushing higher, and the vocals come back in as the guitar pushes on, the drums and bass pounding along with it, and the track rumbles to a close.  Next up is Teddy Picker by the Arctic Monkeys, the drums rolling off with an uptempo beat, the bass bouncing along, a hard and quirky sound to the guitar, forceful vocals flowing with the sound.  It does have a great beat to it and the band sound very together as it flows into a cutting solo which bites out sharp, before the track thumps on into an intricate vocal part, then hiting on to the close.  The guitar rolls in to one of their own compositions, I Could Do It All, a warm bass sound coming in as the vocals flow and the guitar is circling.  The drums build up the sound and it rocks off before pausing into the guitar circling again, the vocals melodic.  It eases along before kicking off again, moving into big heavy guitar riffing, becoming more melodic as the vocals come back in, then racing on with a solid beat pushing it, the vocals soaring at times, as it returns to the circling guitar to end.  They continue with Naive by The Kooks, the guitar cutting in with a quirky sound, the vocals coming in against it, the drums kicking but the guitar sound still dominates, the bass just pulsing through.  It eases down as it builds and then kicks, shuffling along with a hard sound, the guitar now breaking through on occasions, and it rolls into a big finish.

“This is the first original song we ever played”, says Vicky and the guitar sweeps us into We Make Your Life Better, the drums blasting as the bass rumbles, and the guitar cuts away soaring with a sharp sound as it all races along.  It stays uptempo as the vocals come in and bounces along into a melodic chorus, the harmony vocals within the band working so well together.  Conor’s disciplined drums are driving us while the guitar is flowing all around, before it moves into a sharp, crunching solo.  The vocals come in full and melodic and the track rolls on, easing down into some funky guitar as Vicky organises an audience singalong.  It has a reggae beat now and they keep that going through the singalong and ease to a close, with Vicky saying, “you guys are wicked – that was awesome”.  A familiar problem returns, “his pedal’s gone” – but soon the drums kick, “oh, he’s back !”, and they race into Hot ‘n’ Cold by Katy Perry, the guitar cutting through and buzzing as they push along upbeat and bouncy, the sound then shuffling along with the guitar flowing all over it, the drums driving it along as the bass holds everything together.  The vocals have got a really good sound as they flow and it races along into a big finish.  “This is the last of the three brand new songs”, and Darkness opens with a big sound hiting us off, the guitar buzzing before the sound eases for the vocals to come in, the guitar now jumping around the beat, the bas thumping as the track eases along, and you can feel it building before the guitar races off and the vocals flow out.  Big riffing is driving it now, the vocals become more sedate, and there are many layers within this song as it flows through in waves, building then easing, then building some more.  The guitar cuts through sharp and melodic and the drums come crashing in as the guitar flows.  It eases down and moves on as the guitar grips it and runs, and it fades into a screeching close.  They played Poker Face by Lady Gaga to great effect at Hobble On The Cobbles, and it goes down just as well here tonight.  The bass line throbs out buzzing, the guitar cuts in high, and the track rumbles on with thick beat, very deliberate, the vocals from Mickey and George flowing through under Vicky’s, and it is very upbeat and it kicks along.  They produce a big sound as it rumbles along into a great little drum solo from Conor – little in length, not in quality and sound ! – lots of rolls and it hits back into the vocals and moves on with the guitar buzzing us into a big, extended finish.  They close a great set with Lay Your Hands on Me, the last remaining track from their new ep.  The drums crash in and the song blasts away racing, the guitar cutting through with a sharp sound, the bass thumping, as powerful vocals flow through and soar, and it hits into a rousing chorus, some furious guitar driving us on, but the vocals are commanding, and the chorus itself is very catchy.  It eases out of the chorus into melodic vocals and circling guitar, holding before the drums kick us into a flowing, screeching guitar solo which pierces out as it pushes on, and then the track kicks on again, a big driving sound which rumbles to a great fading finish.  “Thank you.  We’ve been TR8R”, and the crowd erupt and call for more.

They come back on and George’s bass rumbles into Are You Gonna Be My Girl ? by Jet, Conor’s drums kicking off and Mickey’s guitar bursting out. Vicky’s vocals come in as it pushes on with the guitar climbing all over it, and her vocals soar into the chorus.  Heavy guitar grabs it and it pushes on again, the drums crashing all over with flourishes, the bass keeping the rhythm going.  A very thick bassline thumps through and the drums kick in as the guitar screeches in, scratching, climbing.  The drums roll and push us on again as the vocals come back in, and we are driven into a massive close to an outstanding couple of sets from TR8R.

You can also see TR8R at Fusion on 5 September, or you will find them at the KMD jam nights on Sunday evenings down at Chesham United Football Club – get down there and buy their ep.  The first 25 came signed, but you will already have missed getting one of those if you were not at this gig.  I’ll leave them to have the last word :

Think what you like, we’re coming to get you !

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