28 Nov 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

Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
Christine White - Album Review: Raven
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This multi-media project commenced in March 2020, and more than 2 ½ years later the release had come together with five songs (one of which is a remix of the opening title cut by electronic producer Paddy Free, so there are six tracks). These are accompanied by three music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry in two languages (English & Farsi), and there is no doubt that this has gained quite a deal of media interest, so yesterday I found myself listening to a very interesting interview with Christine White on RNZ.
Album Review: Goodnight My Darling
22 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
If it hadn’t been for an unfortunate clash with an event I had to attend, I would have been at Whammy a few weeks back to hear Goodnight My Darling, (Maxine Macaulay), and now I have listened to her debut album I so wish I had been able to make it. Still, at least this is now available so those of us who were unable to make it to the tour (last two dates this coming weekend in Wellington and Kapiti) can enjoy this relaxed pleasant romp through different elements of soft pop rock, singer songwriter and shoegaze.
Whero - Single Review: Easy
21 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There are times when one hears a voice and it feels as if you are being held warm and safe, and that is definitely the case here with Whero, who recently released her debut single. If she has not recorded under this name before, I am sure she must have recorded with others, while this has all the hallmarks of someone who has undertaken a lot of live work.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
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