Playing against their namesake, new alternative rock band Chameleon Lady define a strong Celtic-inspired identity as they invite you on a trip down ’11 Waverley Road’ on their new EP. Named after the house where they wrote all five tracks, the new release marks a slightly heavier and more infectious series of melodies for the group as they reflect on their youth since their 2018 album, ‘Calling Card’, was released.
The band’s line-up is comprised of vocalist Cameron Middlemass who plays alongside his brother Tom Middlemass, Tom’s partner Caitlin Hutchinson, her father Kenny Hutchinson, brother Robbie Hutchinson and their cousin Michael Fitpatrick, teasing a family synergy for the group unlike any other. While other bands might consider themselves as tight-knit; the promise are that Chameleon Lady are particularly so!
The five track EP kicks off with ‘Call My Name’, a melodic opener to the new release with some Mystery Jets-esque Pop Rock influences that mix gentle Post-Punk Revival sounds of the 00’s above a twinkling Piano backdrop. The energetic opener leads you into ‘Vice’, a track that bounces off a slightly rougher sequence of rhythms. With light distortion effects and a harsher, more aggressive personality, the music feels like it wouldn’t seem out of its place on a record made by Foals or NOISY as the vocals feel sharper, but the instrumentation is still rooted in the radio-friendly catchy pop/rock sounds of the group.
We reach the halfway mark with ‘Darker Times’, which calls back to the ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’ era of Panic! At The Disco of 2013 to my mind with its reverberated fusion of Desert Rock and lyrics that contemplate facing your fears and being honest in a relationship. It feels a little more heartfelt than the two previous singles and it stuck out as my favourite track on the EP for a time after listening to it.
The fourth offering is ‘Man Of Steel’, and if you thought this track was going to be about the DC hero Superman… You’re probably correct, with lyrics that reference his lore and history throughout the track. Although it was probably the weakest tune on the EP due to the slightly trashy feel to the track, it would still be an admirable choice to play at the end of the next Superman movie. It has the anthemic style that Hollywood executives would be searching for, while feeling cohesive with the rest of the extended play in terms of its style and structure, mixing the opening weather effects with some floating piano riffs and vocals that you could picture a decent crowd responding to, it just isn’t my cup of tea.
Thankfully, the final track, ‘Valentine’, is the band’s most well-known tune and it has tallied over 3k views on Spotify so far. It builds nicely from the long crescendo outro of ‘Man Of Steel’ by creating a rather uplifting conclusion to the project. The production and vocals are clear, the jaunting guitar lines wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Blossoms 80’s-leaning pop records, and the lyrics about shaping the person that you want to be are encouraging, making you feel rather rewarded for listening to the entire EP as their audience.
In conclusion, the stroll down ’11 Waverley Road’ courtesy of Chameleon Lady’s EP is a decently varied and thoroughly charming one. While there is not anything massively original about the content, the band have built up a solid foundation for themselves as their career continues to develop with a record that should appeal to a broad audience nicely with its blend of rocky, punchy Pop and hints towards a darker sound which leaves you wanting more throughout the EP.
Words by Jacob Braybrooke
Live Tour & Gig Dates
Hug and Pint Glasgow 27th Aug, 7th Sept,
Hug and Pint Glasgow 12th November (support)
Sneaky Petes Edinburgh 16th November (Headline) [SOLD OUT]
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