The Chisel

Reviews

The Chisel Retaliation LP

It’s grim up north, and few articulate this better than the CHISEL’s seasider songsmith Cal Graham. Over a blistering 30-minute debut, ably backed by a motley crew of London punk luminaries, his stentorian vocals explore the crushing mundanity of working class life; from small-town bullies, post-Thatcherite social decay, and police brutality. However, despite sounding like he’s permanently just had his pint spilled, there’s a relentless defiance, and sense of solidarity that runs throughout Retaliation like a stick of Blackpool rock, twinned with the kind of soaring guitars and thunderous drums that would make BLITZ or the PARTISANS proud; it’s a joyous affair. An uneasy truce between the best bits of Oi!, UK82, even a dash of anarcho and hardcore too, the CHISEL’s debut occupies the same space as that moment after a last-minute winner hits the back of the net and the ecstatic embrace immediately following could quite easily become a headlock; vim and vigour, piss and vinegar. An instant classic.

The Chisel Come See Me EP

Fucking alright, yeah!  Your favorite yobbos from various UK bands unite for the best kind of good-time, feel-good classic Oi! You know…REJECTS, ABRASIVE WHEELS, 4 SKINS…ANDREW W.K.(?). Every song is the dog’s bollocks, even the cover of the original CRIMINAL DAMAGE’s “Criminal Crew.” Brilliant! It’s on Beach Impediment so, what the fuck, don’t be a wanker. I’m out of cliche British colloquialisms. Just buy it already.

The Chisel Enough Said flexi EP

If there’s one thing you can categorically say about the CHISEL, it’s that they have not been sat about with their collective thumbs up their arse over the past year. Onto their third release proper, and still yet to have an actual live gig, they are undoubtedly a prolific mob. Comprising various elements of CHUBBY AND THE GANG, ARMS RACE, and the LOWEST FORM, it’s a proper who’s who of UKHC. They are also, very clearly, pissed-off. Pissed-off at muggy little cunts, at racists, at the Murdoch press, at divide and rule. It seethes with righteous Lancastrian fury courtesy of Cal Graham’s vocals which are akin to a lump hammer to the side of the head. Their sound is beefier than previous releases too, certainly more in common with that classic OI! sound we all know and love, even going as far as to record on the same piano that “Plastic Gangsters” was, as I am reliably informed. Rounded off with a joyful cover of the BUSINESS’ “Harry May.” Six minutes of flexi fun. Up the Weetabix skins!

The Chisel Deconstructive Surgery EP

Here we, Here we, Here we fucking go; the CHISEL boys are here to kick your head in and neck your pint while doing so. Lightning fast, convulsing with an anger that only growing up in Blackpool can give you, this blistering EP stomps from track to track with a palpable sense of malice and righteous fury. Class warfare, the sad decline of the seaside town and the great British tradition of a pint and a fight are all covered, and backed with thunderous drums, hefty bass and riotous guitars. One of the best of the year so far.