Chief Weapons is Nathan Bell (drums) and Bradley Bailey (guitar). The duo released a debut four-song EP entitled Dazzle. Although this is a debut the band aren’t novices. They have been playing in different bands for around fifteen years and that is evident with the jaw dropping technical skill they display within these four songs.
This is a two-piece band but sound like an army. Part of this is due to the fact that Bailey utilizes a looper which is an integral part to their sound. There are multiple guitar lines going on almost all the time and I was thinking about how much I wanted to see this live as I was listening.
Apparently the band has been described as "Rush playing Zelda's Soundtrack" and compared to acts such as Battles, The Mars Volta and Royal Blood. Out of those three Battles was the one that was the most evident. I would argue that Battles is more experimental overall and Chief Weapons utilizes more guitar bass sounds .
To me they sound like a math and prog rock souped up on steroids with a contemporary sound. It’s visceral, raw and awfully intense in a very good way. Up first is “RKO” which throws you a dizzying whirlwind of guitar and drums which isn't afraid to break things down only to have them amp back up again within seconds. The song binds elements of post-rock and reaches crescendo after crescendo. The band crushes but that's just the beginning.
They delve into classic prog rock deviating from 4/4 on “Thump.” The layers of sound play off each other. Bell’s metronome like drumming is crisp and nuanced and he throws in fills that a mediocre drummer will aspire to pull off. There is some kind of arpeggiated synth I believe on this song which works just fine adding to the kinetic energy.
By the time “Whip Machine” got going I had a feeling I wasn't going to be disappointed. They bring the creative and technical talent and even leave us with an ambient drone that seamlessly connect to the closing song “Mamil.” I think the heaviest and most dynamic song has to go to “Mamil.” They bring it.
What else can I say besides Chief Weapons are badass musicians and this debut is not to be missed. It goes without saying I hope these two are just getting started.
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