Chamberlain - The Moon My Saddle
Doghouse Records

This is the first thing that I can remember being on Doghouse and not being
catagorized as "emo."  Chamberlain is a 5 piece (when I saw them they only
had 4 guys) rock-n-roll band from Indianapolis, IN.  The CD immediately
starts off with a relaxing, mellow guitar line in "Try For Thunder" that is
just downright pretty (in fact, most of the guitarwork on this CD is very
short of astonishing; it's all really solid and full, and the solos are
really catchy), followed by the singer's halfway-raspy voice (which will
remind you of Bruce Springsteen right away, but without some of the vocal
embellishments the Boss takes).  The band ends up jamming out the song in
places, putting it over the 5 1/2 minute mark.  In fact, only 2 songs on
the album clock in at under 4 minutes, so you can tell you're in for some
slow ballads along the way.  "Racing Cincinnati" is a beautiful piano/voice
movement which capivates you, until it leads into probably the fastest song
on the album, "Manhattan's Iron Horses."  This uptempo number has a bit of
an "emo" feel to it (meaning I could see the singer from the Get Up Kids
screaming these lyrics to the music provided).  "Lonesome Song" is just
that, a lonesome song.  It's a blues/country heavy number, with the guitar
waning over everything else.  To me, the CD culminates with "Good Enough,"
one of the best songs, lyrics-wise, that I've heard all year.  It tells the
story of the singer (presumably) telling the listener just what he would
say to the woman in his life who apparently is leaving or has left him.
It's hard to describe the sincere emotion he delivers on the track (and in
concert, also), you just have to hear it.  The only thing I found wrong
with the song is the senseless guitar solo in the middle of nowhere.  It
kills the atmosphere that the band had created for the previous 4 minutes.
All in all, these are 11 solid songs that will get to anyone, any time.  If
you're sick of listening to whatever new genre or subgenre is sweeping the
nation, there's nothing wrong with picking up this CD, and rocking out.
...scott heisel...

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