1 Jul 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Checaine - EP Review: Black River

13 Apr 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to catch Hamilton-based Checaine on the Auckland leg of the tour to promote the EP I am now listening to. I came away impressed that night and playing these five tracks remind me again of just why that was. Here we have a melodic hard rock band which is rooted in the Seventies who also bring in some more modern American influences and then combine them in a manner which is immediate yet also full of layers. With some music it is often easy to pick out the flashy bits, the cranked guitar or the singer and actually miss what is going on inside. Here, the very heart of Checaine’s sound, and the reason it works so well, is actually the bass. Why is that?

To put it simply, Chris is the person who holds it all together, underpinning the sound and melody which then allows the others to go off at tangents. Often the bassist is locked in with the drummer to provide a solid foundation, but here it is much more of a one-man operation which allows Joe to sometimes keep it tight, while at others he can be pounding around the kit or providing additional attacks which busies up the sound and provides them with a harder edge. This means he often ties in more with guitarist Regan than Chris, with the two of them working and bouncing off each other. Regan is often tying down the riff, but he also uses different sounds so that while the band is always heavy (and it is no surprise to see them playing gigs with After Forever), there is always real melody and he is also good at bringing the feeling of space into a section, then locking it right down at others so we get plenty of dynamic contrast. This use of contrast is one of the reasons the band can come across as crunchingly heavy while also being melodic.

Then at the front of course is Fraser, who is one of those singers who somehow can stand at the front of a monstrous outfit in full control and provide powerful vocals which are always melodic, while he also uses different styles and pitch to create different feelings and styles. There are five songs on this 23-minute-long EP, and each one is a force of nature, and very different to each other. Take the title cut for example, this sees Fraser using falsetto at times, powering in at others, a chorus and bridge which is guaranteed to get the crowd moving yet somehow it would also fit in on the radio. There are times when the guitars take a real backseat, then coming back in to provide the emphasis it needs as the song lifts. I enjoyed all the songs on here, and it is hard to pick a highlight, but possibly the closer Asleep At The Wheel needs a special mention just because it is so different to the rest of the set, with drum rolls which really push it forward. This is one of those songs where there is a lot going on from everyone involved and they blend together to make something quite special.

Overall, this is a great set and I look forward to catching them in concert again soon.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Checaine

Checaine are a melodic/progressive hard rock band from Hamilton. They bring powerful hooks to their songs and a progressive style that keeps the music evolving and exciting.

Formed in 2011 by Fraser Coombes (vocals) and Regan Aspden (guitar), they are now accompanied by an exciting line-up of talented members that add to the sound and live show performance Checaine have become known for.

The band have enjoyed great exposure through their new dynamic single Bring Me Down as heard on New Zealand's The Rock FM.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Checaine


Year: 2017
Type: EP
Turn The Stone
Year: 2014
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Dark Divinity - Single Review: Left For Dead
30 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Formed in 2017 by drummer Ian Moir, melodic death metal act Dark Divinity have been through quite a lot in the last five years, as not only have they supported the likes of At The Gates, The Haunted, The Black Dahlia Murder and Psycroptic but have already released an EP, some singles and have of course been running the gamut of line-up changes. The most recent of these has seen the departure of singer Jolene Tempest and the return to a male singer in Jesse Wheeler, with the line-up completed by guitarist/bassist Paul Stewart and guitarist Jiji Aligno.
Tryonics - Album Review: Fragmented
29 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Tryonics is the solo project of Hap Richardson, formerly of My Little Pony, Go Victim and Freezer Child. It is completely a one-man affair as Hap not only provided all the music and vocals but also recorded and mixed it as well.
Anxiety Club - Single Review: Carousel
24 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based Anxiety Club, taken from the forthcoming album Old Dreams, but anyone expecting more of their guitar-led music is going to be in for quite a surprise as there has been a major shift in their sound, caused by circumstance as much as by design. Like many bands unable to perform or tour over the pandemic, they used the downtime to focus on new songs, but that was not their only issue.
Capital Theatre - Album Review: A Hero's Journey
24 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Back in March last year I made my way to the Tuning Fork to catch a three-band bill, one of whom was Capital Theatre. At that point I had not heard any of their material, so was mightily impressed to discover they had recorded a concept album for their debut with Mike Clink (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Megadeth etc) in America, and that night they were playing it in sequence.
Sam Bartells - Single Review: Good Intentions
23 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Last year I saw Sam Bartells at The Tuning Fork with a full band, and then a few weeks ago he was playing acoustically at a tiny venue in Ponsonby with just a keyboard player for support (what an incredible night that was). In some ways his latest single is a combination of those two very different facets, as the central core of his music is always his acoustic and vocals.
South for Winter - EP Review: Acoustic Sessions
22 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this year I agreed to review a concert of the Nashville-based husband and wife duo of Nick Stone (vocals, guitar) and Dani Cichon (vocals, mandolin), without previously having heard any of their music and it is fair to say I was blown away. I was fortunate enough to see them on two consecutive nights, and the mix of Dani’s pure, clear vocals with Nick’s more classical tones was something to behold.
Recitals - Single Review: Rock Dove
19 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Recitals are a 7-piece band based in both Te Whanganui-A-Tara (Wellington) and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and comprise Xanthe Rook (bass, vocals), Tharushi Bowatte (trumpet), Carla Camilleri (keyboards, vocals), Olivia Wilding (cello), Christian Dimick (guitar, vocals), Josh Finegan (drums), and Sam Curtiss (guitar). Even before playing the first single from their debut album Orbit I (released at the end of August on Flying Nun Records) I was intrigued by the line-up as it is unusual to find both a trumpeter and cellist in the same band, and having now listened to the single I am still intrigued, but now it is because I am wondering what the album is like.
Matt Joe Gow - Album Review: Break, Rattle and Roll
19 Jun 2022 // by Kev Rowland
After touring and playing numerous festivals in support of Seven Years, Matt returned to the studio in 2018 to record the follow-up, Break, Rattle and Roll. Released to wide acclaim, it went one better than his previous release and was awarded Best Country Album in the 2019 Music Victoria Awards.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Kate Bush
    Drake feat. 21 Savage
    Harry Styles
    Cat Burns
    Doja Cat
    Jack Harlow
    Post Malone And Doja Cat
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem