Choke Up

Stormy Blue

Written by: PP on 28/02/2018 22:23:52

Punk, meet Brand New. Brand New, meet punk. That's the simplified description of Choke Up's sophomore album "Stormy Blue", which channels Midwestern style, laid-back punk rock á la The Lawrence Arms against the emotional croons and depth-laden havoc of bands like Brand New and, yes, even The Menzingers (not to even mention Modern Baseball who are also in the mix). But the truth, of course, is a lot more complicated than that. It neither has the instant bangers of a Menzingers record nor the Midwestern punk tempo of a Lawrence Arms one. Instead, the band goes for subtlety and depth, songs that require weeks upon weeks of listening before their potential fully emerges. So for the instant gratification types, Choke Up ain't the answer.

That said, if you like your music Fat Wreck style but miss the depth and complexity of other bands (well, Morning Glory excepted), Choke Up is probably exactly what you're looking for. A great example is "Roadside Graves", which goes for Americana-style guitars coupled with escalations of passionate, coarse shouts that exemplify the songwriting depth found on the album. There's some emo flavor, sure, but the overall expression falls somewhere perfectly in between the indie-flavored emo of Brand New's early material and the Fat Wreck-style punk of bands like Get Dead or Civil War Rust.

Don't let the opener trick you, though. "Saturday Night" might namely be a track released by either The World Is A Beautiful Place... or Sorority Noise based on its sound, but it's not at all representative of the rest of the album. Rather you'd be better off picking out "Full Bloom To Bedlam" that perhaps best exemplifies the marriage between Midwestern punk and emotionally-charged indie/emo. One thing's for sure, Choke Up have long been underappreciated but what they have been doing here and on their debut "Black Coffee, Bad Habits" reminds me a lot about the early Menzingers before they blew up.

Download: Borderland, Blue Moon, Roadside Graves, Full Bloom To Bedlam
For the fans of: The Menzingers; Modern Baseball; The Lawrence Arms; Captain, We're Sinking, Brand New
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.09.2017
Say-10 Records

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