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Chamberlain – the moon my saddle & exit 263

Posted on: February 5, 2009

exit263

One of my favourite records from 2008 is “The 59´sound” from The Gaslight Anthem from New Jersey, smart folk/americana influenced punk rock, with a straight focus on the rock in it. And the singer remembers me of the young Bruce Springsteen and in conclusion I again listened very often to the last Chamberlain records.

Chamberlain has come quite a long way since their first appearance, which ended with “Exit 263” and some fans were unwilling to walk that way with them. They started as Split Lip, which by the principles of the 1990s was one of the pillars of passionated post-hardcore (they called it emo back that days, it is astonishing which alteration the definition of emo has made in two decades, so continue reading, ´cause you don´t have to expect an emo record). Over the years the name Chamberlain has deepened in the roots of American rock. That is not surprising either coming from where it comes…Nashville. “Exit 263” follows in the wake of its predecessor “The Moon My Saddle” but with a greater rawness of sound.The record is in the main a rock album with alt-country & americana influences, but it still has the appeal of the awesome vocal style of David Moore which has always been a something of an institution within the post-hardcore scene as being one of the most well-rounded and influential voices. Sophisticated and perfectly executed guitar work gives the impression you”re listening to an old hand and is complimented with a perfectly suited rhythm section played with a more blues/roots style as it keeps things exciting and moving while the vocals and guitars tell their story. The melancholy of its music is transformed moment by moment into heartrending sadness, with lost goodbyes and loves or the sensuality of “Masterpiece.”

With this last disc, they have looked to create their most personal work to date, recording most of the material on four tracks and concentrating themselves on the essence of the songs. And, it never ceases to be peculiar that Chamberlain still are related to the American emo scene considering that the music is nearer Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison.

moonsaddle

The predecessor “The Moon my Saddle” was the record which erased any memory of their mid-tempo hardcore era, but is still more rooted in the Midwest post-hardcore and on this masterpiece (yes, both records are masterpieces, sadly almost unknown) they were able to capture the essence of the Midwest unlike any band I’ve ever heard, maybe more than any other band from the Midwest-scene in the 90s. Within the record you can envision the long drives through empty fields, hear the steps cut the silence in a town where everything closes at 7pm, sleeping with freight trains running in the distance and everything else that goes along with rural life. At least the imagination of an urban boy like I am.

Chamberlain are simply a great band that never really got their due.

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4 Responses to "Chamberlain – the moon my saddle & exit 263"

I think I have a Chamberlain record somewhere. You’re gonna make me go dig now.

Hmm, very cognitive post.
Is this theme good unough for the Digg?

hi, don’t you have some EPs or the compilation “Five-Year Diary (1996-2000)”, too?

hi carpenter, I have the compilation, but you have to wait 5 month until I´m back at my home, sorry, or you search for it on your own

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