Not Quite Legal – An appropriate album title for a band consisting of Chase Walker at 17-years-old, Randon Davitt on bass at 18 and Matt Fyke on the drums at just 17. Do not let the young age of the members of this group fool you. While they may not all be “quite legal,” The Chase Walker Band is one seriously talented bunch of musicians who work together as tightly as some bands that have been at this longer than they’ve been alive.
From the rocking opening track, “Done Lovin’ You,” all the way to the hidden instrumental track of “Yabba Dabba” this group will hook you into its sound. There is a unique blend of a modern blues rock sound with an homage to the old school blues that is their foundation. A cover of Hendrix’s “Red House” perfectly exemplifies this mix with its resonator stripped down acoustic opening that underpins the whole song. You are thinking this is going to be a southern chicken fried version at least until the heavily overdriven guitar steps up to the plate and the echo driven vocals add a whole other level to song. “The Walk” is a rocker that struts its stuff as proudly as the female subject of the song. “A New State of Mind” is clearly asking those “Men in Blue” who are doing their jobs for the wrong reasons to reassess their perspective. The addition of some rollicking piano spices up “I Warned You.”
“Cold Hearted” is a standout track and let us hope a humorous warning to a potential lover. If not it’s going to be a lonely future love life. However, the true highlight of this album is the slow groove of “Don’t F It Up” where we find Chase telling the story about a life lesson that an old man is trying to impart to a younger generation. “I speak from experience–you only live once, so Don’t F It Up!” There is a well-placed guitar solo expresses the frustration with his mistakes and missed opportunities that just fits perfectly. The band then pays tribute to the roots of ska/reggae with the seminal Toots and the Maytalls’ track “54-46.”
“Changed” changes things up as Randon Davitt steps up to the mic on the track he wrote and shows that while this band may have Chase’s name in the title they are all vital members to their success. They slow things down again with the soulful “It’ll Pass” and then follow that with a rocked up version of Americana standouts The Wood Brother’s “Honey Jar.” There is a social awareness and maturity to these young men that is evident when you listen to the straight-ahead rocker, “Living on Thin Ice,” that is clearly a commentary on the current state affairs. “Yabba Dabba” closes things out with a jazzy instrumental jam with some spoken recordings sprinkled that are amusing when you consider the age of the band.
Overall, this is an album that shows an exceptional amount of maturity for a group this young. They embrace their musical foundation and build something special on top of it. Not Quite Legal is a great sophomore effort and their future holds plenty of promise.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Don’t F It Up
– Cold Hearted
– Red House
– A New State of Mind
The Big Hit
– Don’t F It Up
Review by Kevin O’Rourke
Buy the album: Amazon