Chemical Vocation

A Misfit In Progress

Written by: TL on 15/10/2008 13:00:56

Back in 2005 a band called Chemical Vocation released a self titled EP which was to be the first in a series of releases by promising Swedish screamo acts. It's fair to say that songs like "Unspection" and "Conversus Locus" quite simply blew a hole in the notion that screamo could only be done off European shores, and to this day, many like me still hold that EP in high esteem, and since its release we've all been anxiously waiting for the band's first full length album. And now, three years later, "A Misfit In Progress" has finally arrived.

While the single track "True Story Of Mine" suggested a softening of the sound when it surfaced online, it was still pretty fucking good, and it breathed life to the long-stretched hopes. The new album however, has taken this development way too far, and I'm sorry to say that Chemical Vocation has more or less sold out every element that made them good, and turned into a rather mediocre pop rock band, more in the veins of their friends in Kid Down, than what their louder and more aggressive past would have suggested. Problem is that Sweden already has a Kid Down, and frankly, they do their thing better than Chemical Vocation do.

So "A Misfit In Progress" ends up as nine tracks of pure pop punk disappointment that people without knowledge of the Swedish scene will have the easiest time comparing to bands like Cartel and Boxcar Racer. Only few places does the band forget how soft they've seemingly decided to go, displayed in guitars that almost hint at a bit of muscle, but combined with the overall soft expression, this simply seems to fall outside of the cohesion, and doesn't do anything to better the songs.

It's not that "A Misfit In Progress" is outright horrible. Compared to pop punk standards, it's actually rather decent, it's just a problem when only one track really contains the power to stay with you after the album ends, that song being the tenth track "Lost And Found" (the reason I only wrote 'nine' earlier), which at least boasts of a somewhat powerful chorus. Chemical Vocation were set to be such a fuckin' awesome band on both their self-titled and "True Story Of Mine" EPs, and now they're just another scenester-pop outfit, whose album I'm unlikely to ever spin after finishing this review. I guess you could actually like this record if you haven't heard what the band used to sound like, but if that's the case, I think you should do yourself a favour and get your hands on the EP instead. In all cases it's a much more rewarding listen. I for one will mourn at the memory of the old Chemical Vocation.

Download: Lost & Found, The Beautiful Truth, Pencils And Papers
For The Fans Of: Kid Down, Boxcar Racer, Cartel
Listen: myspace.com/chemicalvocation

Release Date 24.09.2008
Panic & Action

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