Sunday, June 21, 2015

Album Review: The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge

The Chameleons were an eighties post-punk style band who I must admit I didn't discover till the mid noughties.  Script of the Bridge is their debut album and it must have been on high rotation with Interpol and The Horrors.  It has to be said that opener Don't Fall is a bit weak, a monolithic slab of whiny misery.  After this the album picks up considerably.  Here Today lurches back and forth agreeably but the following two tracks are two of the strongest.  Monkeyland is all creeping tension, building up to a sweeping chorus where singer Mark Burgess belts out "it's just a trick of the light".  Keyboards introduce Second Skin which has a soaring melody before Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies' spidery guitar lines fade into nothingness in the coda.

The album doesn't quite sustain such peaks but remains interesting nonetheless: Up The Down Escalator bears all the hallmarks of early U2 EXCEPT Bono, while the shimmering Thursday's Child evokes early Cure.  The most Joy Division-like moment here is the insistent A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days,,some of the drum fills are reminiscent of that band's Atmosphere.  But this album stands apart from these comparisons.  It's a perfectly formed early eighties album to file alongside Closer and Faith.