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Friday 9 February 2024

Chemtrails - The Joy Of Sects


Manchester quartet Chemtrails reach their third album and what an interesting journey it has been. That journey has been a lo-fi one, a delightful voyage offering up a sort of Punky Psych Power Pop that is enchanting and more than interesting.

The Joy Of Sects sounds like an album where it has all come together. The Psych Pop has been toned down, but it is still present and when it arrives, it is particularly wonderful, particularly the magnificent Superhuman Superhighway and Endless Stream Of The Bizarre. The big difference is the production and that studio production has fully realised.

This is a credit to Margo Broom whose work at Heritage Works Studios has been a revelation. She has the ability to bring out the best in creative bands, allowing them to perform fully realised songs that sound great without the artists losing their mojo. Her production here is awesome.

Chemtrails here sound very 80s New Wave, a little B52s, especially on (Post Apocalypstick) where they also get a little Devo and Spacey. Mia Lust and Laura Orlova's vocals are as quirky as ever, part Cyndi Lauper, part Cindy Wilson, part Noosha Fox. Squeaky, but incredibly addictive.

This quirkiness might not completely work were it not for the brilliance of the arrangements and both the crack rhythm section who enhance the adeptness of the lyrics and the inventive Guitar parts. These allow the Pop to thrive.

Catch all choruses just hook you completely and underline what a fine band they are. It is an album full of surprises and one to be listened to from start to finish. All hail to the album format, no playlist could ever enchant you in this way.

The band do seem a little out of kilter with the mediocrity of the UK scene, this is an album that should do great in the States who strangely seem more open to Indie inventiveness. Chemtrails allow you to marvel at the complexity of the lyrics and arrangements, yet you also need to find the space to dance. What an incredible album!

You can listen to and buy the album here. It is a great investment of your time.


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