Athen’s CHAIN CULT return with their first full length following a great Demo and 7” from last year. Recorded at Ignite Music by George Christoforidis during May and July of 2019, Shallow Grave shows the progression of a band who have played non-stop for two years, covering pretty much all of Europe. CHAIN CULT’s post punk is anthemic, militant and idealistic, putting music to a very dark and bleak time and place. You can hear echoes of early THE CURE, THE SOUND, Second Empire Justice era BLITZ or WIPERS in their music but also the passion and conviction of locals METRO DECAY, STRESS or ANTI… Very much a perfect reflection of what springs to mind thinking about the current Athens scene.
Shallow Grave comes housed in a reverse board sleeve including a printed inner sleeve with lyrics, all designed by CHAIN CULT’s collaborator Aris Panagopoulos of A.D. Visions.
Our take: Debut album (their earlier 12” was their demo pressed to vinyl) for this post-punk band out of Athens, Greece. Chain Cult sound, to me, like a band who takes equal influence from the Wipers and Bauhaus. From the Wipers you have those long, melodic, chorus-drenched guitar lines, and from Bauhaus you get the gloomy vibe and more percussive vocals. I can’t put my finger on it (maybe it’s just the heavy chorus effect on the guitar), but I want to place Chain Cult alongside modern melodic punk bands like Masshysteri, Signal Lost, and Rata Negra… bands who are melodic but not poppy, and whose political and aesthetic approach seems more aligned with hardcore than pop music or pop-punk. As with the Wipers, my favorite parts of Shallow Grave are the longer instrumental passages where the guitarist lets loose on longer, more complex melodic lines, but if you’re a fan of this gloomy, grey-skied punk, the whole album will be a treat.