For his latest record Stuart Lunn, AKA Chase The River had arranged some time in a studio in North Carolina, USA, whilst he was there in 2017 supporting Bassh through their American tour - pretty good work in itself, if you can get it!
From Chase The River’s previous release ‘Infinite Worlds’ it was apparent that there was something cool going on between Snug Records Studio host, Leonardo Solis and Lunn. Sometimes that ‘something cool’ can be a loathing of each other that brings out a nasty side of an artist or an eccentric pairing that can bring out a wacky and weird side of an artist but this seemed to be something different. On further investigation via www.chasetheriver.com, Lunn, in his own words suggested producer Solis was ‘his brother from another mother’ and it is very evident that this relationship and, no doubt, both guys respective talents, were good for Lunn and his art.
I can also sense form Lunn’s blogging of the experience that exposure to new and interesting instruments; retro moogs, wurlitzers, rickenbackers and omnichords to name a few, that Lunn was very happy here. Maybe that too had something to do with the quality of this latest single release ‘Which Way’ - I’d go as far as to say its Lunn’s best work to date.
For the album JB Hussey was drafted in to drum, exquisitely, I might add. Producer Solis also played bass and Lunn himself played everything else.
The track opens with the click of a lighter and sound of a couple of worry laden draws on a cigarette - the perfect scene setter to what is a track heavy with despair and vulnerability.
Instantly the production quality is evident, every instrument sits in its own space yet blends together beautifully. I quickly and involuntarily found myself playing some kind of air drums on my lap, such was the quality of the drumming on this track, reminiscent of Def Leppard's ‘87 release ‘Hysteria’
It’s Lunn’s voice on this record though that sets it apart from his earlier releases. As my legs and arms were keeping time with the drums, my heart was breaking over the voice - it’s huge, aggressive, growling and angry yet full of emotion and vulnerability. ‘Love is not built to last’ he tells us, offering an insight into a soul that has been hurt by someone. He’s angry and giving us a glimpse of the pain he has felt.
The instrumentation and that voice of Lunn’s rise to the chorus where he sings ‘I’m still trying..’ telling us that although hurt and broken, he’s not giving up yet - Please don’t give up yet Stuart, if this is a display of the trajectory you are on, the future can only be promising.
If I had to add one thing and offer some critique I would say the only mistake was that as the track rises to its angriest, and loudest, Lunn’s growling vocal gets left behind just a little - I’d like to have pushed the vocal a little more at this point - It’s too good on this track to lose.
I’m sure it’s clear to all but I’ll spell it out for you anyway - I loved ‘Which Way’ - It’s easily Lunn’s best work to date and well worth spending a few quid to own.
Well done Stuart.
Reviewed by Kevin Young of INMYND