Alt Rock for the 2020s, Except with Some Dope Calypso Vibes
And yes, they are as sick as that sounds. Chappaqua to me, until recently, was just a town in the Hudson River Valley where Hillary Clinton moved to in 2001 so she could become a senator in New York State. Don’t ask me how a couple of guys from Manchester, England came up with the name Chappaqua, or why they added “Wrestling” to the end, but I don’t really care.
Their first EP from 2017, cleverly titled EP1 has 4 songs that all rock. And I mean rock. Subsequent singles “Plant Trees” and “Is She Happy Turning on Her Side” went even further by adding island music elements to the heavy guitar riffs, a combination that creates a unique and varied tapestry of sound for a 2020s indie band from England. And it works very well.
In 2020, two more singles were released which reverted to more straight up rock, and to very successful effect. These crazy kids have found a way to both span and combine literate, groovy island rock with traditional power chord and rhythm heavy guitar music. Why? I don’t know, but again, I don’t care, because it just works.
The lyrics and themes tend to undermine the sometimes bright melodies, rather accentuated by the more aggressive chord heavy progressions that pop up at other times. Themes of loneliness, alienation, and pulling apart certainly identifiable by most who’ve been listening to these songs as they’ve come out in these tumultuous recent times.
Sometimes I hear Blur, sometimes Santana, or even sometimes STP. Even The Clash who were the first movers of combining punk and Caribbean beats are an accessible influence on the band’s sound. Regardless, I want to hear more, and I’m interested how Chappaqua Wrestling will put together a cohesive first album combining all their sounds into one unique and (dare I say it in the year of our Lord 2021) innovative sound compilation.
“Only You Could Know” from EP1
“And I’m so sad, cause I need to be” – from “Football”