Adam Harrell—Vocals | Chris Cargile—Guitar | Michael Lamb--Guitar Chris Crutchfield—Bass | Jeremy Lowery--Drums, Vocals
“We all have fiends living inside ourselves; some are dormant and hibernating, others are alive and vicious,” states front man Adam Harrell. It is in this spirit that Camilla, Georgia’s Chasing Victory has overcome their inner demons to bring forth their sophomore effort, smashing sonic barriers and destroying scene obstacles. Originally labeled a screamo outfit with their heralded debut I Call this Abandonment, Fiends is neither core nor just a futile exercise in fashion. This is an album that forges its own path, a path of classic rock influence and rock n’ roll pioneering. Heavy and bombastic without pretension, it is a dynamic balance of brutality and melody.
“The album is very diverse and each song has something that sets it apart from the rest. We used a lot of cleaner guitar tracks and let the bass and drums drive the songs to keep from masking everything with thick distortion, which has become very popular these days. The vocals on the record sound completely different also. There is a lot more singing and I owe it all to Jeff Buckley and our producer Nathan Dantzler. Nathan really help me capture a vocal sound that I felt comfortable with and steered me away from screaming as much.”
Relentless, yet tasteful, Fiends is a much-needed diversion from the glut of heavy music today. It is song-oriented without losing the band´s signature riffs. This is the album that this band needed to make. Muse-like falsettos meet Stone Temple Pilots-esque chorus lines, and the occasional gang vocal, and Harrell’s dirt-laden growls. The whole of the album is speedy, though diverse enough in tempo and guitar approach to avoid becoming stale. Consider the track “Wolves,” as attitude-infused as the Wolfmothers of the world and as melodic as the Foo Fighters. The guitar lines are ambient, and Harrells vocals display great diversity, with an incessant chorus as the payoff. Another key number is the title track “Fiends.” More straightforward than any other song on the record, it is easily in the category of melodic radio rock, akin to the AFIs of the universe. Fiends is rich in imagery, as Harrell and company obviously devoted great effort to lyricism and concept. Each one-word song title is symbolic of a different vice/monster (“Zombies,” “Barbarians,” etc.). In the case of the title track, Harrell mocks the concept of stardom: I´ve been feeling kind of sick to my stomach. It´s just a gimmick, but the kids seem to love it. On “Chemicals” he paints vivid pictures of battles with lust: As long as you refuse to believe in the power of cold showers, you´ll continue to excuse the receiving end of cowards. And on “Carnies,” he makes critical commentary on religious fanaticism: What´s the price of admission?...You´re building a circus; a haven to shelter your deepest secrets and your darkest demons. This is a rare exercise in thought provocation, and destroys most by comparison. Yet, at the core of the record is a spiritual foundation; the message is, by exposing one’s vices they are disarmed.
“Most of the characters are battling with some kind of addiction, such as sex, drugs, alcohol, or even arrogance. We want to confront the deepest darkness in each of us and expose it for what it truly is: an enemy which has no power when brought into the light.”
Through constant touring with a host of industry powerhouses (such as August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Project 86, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, The Showdown, and Chiodos), as well as appearing on the Vans warped Tour the last two summers, Chasing Victory has become one of the top selling artists on the Mono vs. Stereo roster. But, Fiends is in an entirely different category from their previous material, and should catapult the band into consideration as an industry elite. This, to match with a live show that has developed into one of the most captivating around--thanks in no small measure to their enigmatic and animated front man--and you have the formula for something special in the months to come.
“We just wanted to make a balls-to-the-wall rock record. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. These days in music, it’s so easy to sing the same two-note chorus, play the same chuggy riffs, throw it into Pro Tools, and slap it up your Myspace page before Beethoven has time to roll over in his grave. We approached everything in the exact opposite way as that last sentence.”