Chuter – Leaving Here

19 year old Jack Chuter will be a stranger to most of you and untill recently me as well. I got introduced to his music through the Avalanchers Board where he lurked and posted for a while. How this new solo project of his is still unsigned I can not apprehend. He creates a blend of post rock/metal inspired shoegaze that is very blissfull and unique. Leaving Here dates back from 2008 but I just had to review it because it’s worth every second of your attention.

The album opens with “Tree“. The plucking guitar notes sound not unlike premium post rock band Explosions in the Sky. One big advantage Chuter has over this band though, is the use of vocals.  Those vocals make their debut on the release  in a distorted spoken verse style deep underneath the music. Then the drums kick in creating a fascinating build up along with the clear ethereal vocals which break through the music. Because they are back in the mix I immideatly fall into a shoegazer mindset. Jack’s voice sounds very mature for a 19 year old and he can certainly sing.  The opening track never quite  bursts open so we are left to wait ’till the second track to discover the full aural spectrum of this solo project.

Vision” is an entirely different beast from the opening track. Sludgy walls of guitar caught me off guard as I had never expected that. When the melodic guitar and the vocals join in we are back where this release started. This has become pure metal instead of rock though. The sound of this second track will remind listeners of the sounds from Jesu, Iroha and perhaps even late Godflesh (Hymns).
The composition sounds incredibly balanced. Though it is surely on the heavier side of the musical spectrum, it makes for remarkably easy listening. Again Chuter proves his voice can handle quite a lot.  In true shoegazer form, the vocals are not prominent in the mix. But it is still apparent he can reach high tones quite easily.  Past the midway point of the track the sludgy guitars return and remind me of Isis, around the Celestial era. Astonishing track. The melodic guitar lines never dissapear from underneath this heavy foundation, creating a completely different experience from that album.
The third track,  “Reel In” is a more humble approach. It’s repetetive drum patterns along with the vocals provide an hypnotic listening experience.

Harness” is again a completely different tune. It’s the most relaxed track on the album  and the composition is very melancholic. The vocal arrangement is at its best on this track. I got a strong Slowdive vibe from this track which can mean nothing but good.
The final track “Leaving Here” (at a lengthy 10:21) seems to build on the melodies of “Harness”. The drums and vocals sound like they come straight out of the nineties, meaning an even stronger shoegaze stamp. These two tracks form a great combination and are the highlights of the release in my opinion.  Especially when the über fuzzed out guitars make their way into the second part of the final song.
In between is the surprising “Within Your Head” which reintroduces  the sludgy guitars  from track 2. Again early Isis comes to mind, but in combination with these ethereal vocals, it needs to be stressed that this is a completely different experience. The track slowly broods but just like the opening cut, never quite explodes. The ambient melody that almost unnoticably slips underneath in the final minutes of the song reminded me of Boris – “Farewell” (Pink,2005).

This artist who comes out of the blue for me has made a wonderful album and I can’t believe it is download-able for free. There are six great tracks on here (all 7 minute plus). Compared to some of the shit that get’s sold for 15$ nowadays this is pure quality. A few minor remarks are perhaps the repetitiveness. Though I personally don’t mind repetitiveness within a song, the melodies on the album are all quite similar. Though the introduction of sludgy and heavier guitars in two of the tracks brought some welcome variation.  For a solo project this is simply an amazing album : period. And I can’t wait to here more from this young talent.
The album is available for free download from this blog under the “Audio/Video” section : don’t wait on this!

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