Brighton (UK) screamo/post-rock quartet Chalk Hands are back and set to mark a much-anticipated return with their debut album, Don’t Think About Death. It will be released on the 18th of March 2022 via Dog Knights Productions.
There’s nothing more exciting than the realisation that you’re going to love an album from the very first track. It hitting so hard, both in musical structure and the emotional catharsis it delivers. That is what Chalk Hands’ debut album does with Fail, Grasp, Restore. A downright stunning blend of ambient post-rock, shoegaze and math-rock. If you’re not head over heels with Chalk Hands already, you might want to check your pulse.
Of course, one great track doesn’t make a great album and Chalk Hands have seven more to showcase. Beginning with A Means to An End, a coiled spring of energy with deep melodic gaze moments that takes the listener on a complex but emotionally wrought journey. Teeth & Nails follows with a short slice of burning and technically proficient intensity that still manages to hit gargantuan highs. Before February’s New Friend takes the listener through a soundscape of uplifting melody and powerful post-rock instrumentation. Lyrically this is a hefty listen, helped by the way in which the vocals deliver them.
This is a band who know how to present heartfelt and meaningful heavy music that sounds and feels so damn honest. Perhaps the best example of this is with Les Jours Passent Et Ne Me Ressemblent Pas. French for ‘the days go by and don’t look like me’, it’s another short and to the point offering but once again, Chalk Hands create such a thrilling cacophony of beautiful noise, it’s hard to not sit, mouth agape.
The sun is going down on the album, like a wish not strong enough to lead to action. A Velleity sees Chalk Hands reach down deep to deliver one of their most passionate sounding examples of just how well they understand the combination of post, gaze and rock. The title track then provides yet another example of why tears might be shed as you listen to this album in full. Even if it’s tears of joy. Before The Bridge wraps up such an accomplished debut with the album’s must unique effort. Soft ambience at the start, the way in which the atmosphere builds up, leading to even darker tones and the sense of nothingness. This lasts for nearly 4 minutes before Chalk Hands fade away, quietly bringing things back up into something lighter, freeing and calming.
We’ve got through the darkness and to the other side and it was brilliant.
Chalk Hands – Don’t Think About Death Full Track Listing:
1. Fail, Grasp, Restore
2. A Means to An End
3. Teeth & Nails
4. February’s New Friend
5. Les Jours Passent Et Ne Me Ressemblent Pas
6. A Velleity
7. Don’t Think About Death
8. The Bridge
Chalk Hands - Don’t Think About Death (Dog Knights Productions)
The Final Score - 9.5/10