Chinatown - S/T

Chinatown formed in 2001 in Vancouver, Canada and immediately started writing and gigging. Within a short time they were packing out the local clubs and supported the likes of LA Guns, Zeke and Zen Guerilla before landing a full tour support to The Black Halos. Atlantic became interested in signing the band but kept them hanging on to see if their sound became the 'next big thing' - it didn't so Atlantic walked away. Finally after almost two years in the making their debut album is here.

Influences of the Rolling Stones and The Faces along with other acts such as Guns n' Roses and Backyard Babies are instantly recognised as soon as the album starts with "Move Out". Starting with the age-old tradition of feedback building into a choppy riff before exploding into a full on killer rock 'n' roll tune. There's barely time for you to catch your breath before they kick into my favourite track of the album "Shoot It Up". This simply has to be heard to be believed! Any track that has lyrics such as 'I'm never coming back, I've been a bad, bad boy!' and 'You look good, I look great!' is always gonna be a winner with me and this is all wrapped up in some of the finest music you'll ever hear, and like all things this good it's over in just over 3 minutes. "Streetlight Parasite" is a wonderful sleazy attitude filled rocker that'll have you singing along with a sneer painted on your lips without you even noticing. It really is that good! The whole album is filled with attitude, the kind that Guns n' Roses had 20 years ago before becoming a bloated mess. It's the kinda music that makes you realise there's still exciting young bands out there who just get what rock 'n' roll is all about. "Destroy" has a chorus that thousands of bands would sell their grandmother for and yet it all seems so effortless for Chinatown. "Revolution Love" has the best use of 'Woo-Hoo's' since Sympathy For the Devil and the album goes on like this, songs to die for that will leave you grinning from ear to ear as you reach for the play button again. "Suddenly Hits Me" would surely go down a storm live, close your eyes and you can almost feel yourself in a sweaty club bouncing up and down while shouting your lungs out along to the lyrics. The only criticism of this I have is that the final track, an acoustic version of "Slip Away" is a bit pointless. The main electric version of the song sounds great on it's own and doesn't need a different interpretation on the same album. You'll find yourself ending the album after "Suddenly Hits Me", that's not to say it's a bad version of the song it just seems to be there to take the track count up to 11 and probably should have been saved for a single b-side.

Put simply, this is one of the finest debut albums I've heard since Earth VS The Wildhearts. Filled with great songs, attitude and choruses that will stay in your head for months. Turn this up loud, grab a cold beer on a hot day and try wiping the smile off your face. You won't be able to!

by John Baxter

Visit the Chinatown Website