The Chamberlains – ‘Metropolis and Mental Rejects’

Metropolis and Mental Rejects is the second album from The Chamberlains, the project of Sydney-born singer/songwriter Mike Stephens. An enjoyably hazy rock intrigue, with post-punk and goth-rock flashes, aptly complement a thematic exploration “through the underbelly of nocturnal society.”

A foreboding bass clanging and ferocious vocals kickstart “Metropolis,” an album opener with palpable mystique. Menacing guitar distortion and a ghostly vocal wordlessness intertwine into the second minute, reminding fondly of Nick Cave’s darkest explorations. A sped-up vocal intensity ignites further into the finale, as further percussive rumbling and ghostly vocal swells take hold. A similarly dark, though more playfully exuberant, intrigue shows on the subsequent “Gremlins” — whose chilly organ additions and xylophone infusions add brilliantly amidst the creeping vocal prowess.

Metropolis and Mental Rejects doesn’t let up in its quality songwriting. “Danse Macabre” embraces a murky rock realm with its rise from debonair vocals into a heightened composure, while the finale “Last Night in Norwich” injects a late-night jangle-rock and post-punk engrossment, ending this stellar album in a very strong note.

“Metropolis” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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