Chicane Theory
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Chicane Theory

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | INDIE

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


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Minneapolis product Chicane Theory dropped Things Look Up Again on May 7th, and I thought I’d throw up the stream to whet your appetite. Featuring lead singles “Happily After” (“ rips right into your ears with a very memorable riff (the proverbial “meat”), followed up nicely by the “potatoes” of the project, Roesler’s vocals…”) and “Corridor”, Things Look Up Again is a more traditional form of alternative rock than you’re used to hearing around these parts. That’s not to say it’s unremarkable; on the contrary, it’s quite so.

Chicane Theory’s sound is very palatable; excellent riffs sculpted around Nicholas Roesler’s vocals, creating a sound that may be familiar to your past while providing you a bit of refreshment with something different for the present. Roesler delivers with no contrivance – his sound is not meticulously henpecked and forced; he allows it flow organically and lets it come out as it will. It’s certainly a nice change of pace for me.

Order the album on Bandcamp in various forms and stream the entire thing below. Enjoy! - Sirens Of Decay

fter a brief hibernation, Minneapolis-based rock outfit Chicane Theory is thawing out the winter’s cold with a new full-length album, Things Look Up Again. Featuring a broad range of vintage guitar tones from dissonant speaker-ripping fuzz to hauntingly beautiful tape echoes, dynamic drum beats, and accessible vocal melodies, the album will make a comfortable fit in collections that already include quintessential releases by likeminded heavies like Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Jawbox, and Swervedriver.

Things Look Up Again was written, recorded, and mixed by bandleader Nicholas Roesler over a span of about two years and the extra time certainly paid off with strong songwriting, production value and a cohesiveness that is rare from most indie rock bands. Peter Anderson (The Ocean Blue, Honeydogs, Polera) was brought in to record drum tracks at Flowers Studio and Casey Virock (Porcupine) added guitar and vocal overdubs to help put the final finishing touches on the album.

Ghettoblaster caught up with Roesler to discuss the LP, which drops May 7. This is what he had to say about it…

When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?

I started writing parts of some of these songs as far back as 2006, but I didn’t start recording/finishing album tracks until 2010-2011.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?

“Phobia” was probably the toughest to finish off because it was an idea that had been in my head for a long time and struggled with arrangement and what to do with the bridge. I really liked the song and wanted to get it perfect. It’s also sometimes hard when you record a demo and here it a lot, then re-record higher quality tracks and have to train your ear to let go of what the demo sounded like in favor of the more polished track.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

I wrote the music for “Wake Up” then spent a while contemplating what to do with the vocal melody and lyrics. Originally I was going to have an isolated vocal before each verse that said “I want to wake up the world” with some kind of effect on it, but the song took a slightly different turn stylistically with kind of a queens of the stone age meets strokes thing and completed what became the final lyrics and phrasing in one sitting. The lyrics are actually about playing in the park.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

Yes. My good friend and songwriter Casey Virock (Porcupine, Dream 13) added guitar to a track and also sang on three tracks. I look up to Casey as a musical mentor and we have similar thoughts and approaches to music that fit well together. The song “No Use” which features Casey’s guitar tracks, is influenced by Syd Barrett; who Casey initially turned me on to and now I consider Syd a big influence.

Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

The record was self-produced by me and I’m pretty happy with how end product was in line with my initial vision for the songs.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

Nothing really particular. I like the lyrics to be a bit spacey and up to interpretation. I named the album Things Look Up Again because I felt like the album represented a turn for the better in the band’s musical life (also a lyric from “Phobia” which is a pretty optimistic song).

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

Some of the songs were played live before we recorded them for the record. From past shows, I think people seem to respond extra well to “Moments,” “Phobia,” “Corridor,” and “Fields.” I’m excited for “Wake Up” and “Happily After” to debut live. I think they will be fun. - Ghettoblaster Magazine

Chicane Theory is a Minneapolis-based rock group led by front-man Nicholas Roesler. The new album “Things Look Up Again,” is the first full length release following their debut EP which came out in 2008. After meeting Casey Virock in a La Crosse, WI guitar shop, Roesler and Virock began a friendship, sharing song ideas and demos, which eventually led Roesler to record some of his ideas in a studio is Pasadena in late 2005. One of his songs was chosen in a local contest for a CD compilation and led to the first live show by Roesler performing on acoustic guitar along with Virock. These two, along with drummer Keith Larsen, continued to play local gigs, and by January 2008 released a 6 song EP under the band name ‘Chicane Theory,’ receiving good reviews, receiving radio airplay, and playing a Canadian music festival. After a brief hiatus, Roesler teamed up with drummer Peter Anderson to record and develop new demos. In mid 2011, 12 songs were completed at Flowers Studio, featuring Roesler,Virock, and Anderson giving new life to Chicane Theory.

Chicane Theory can best be described as just pure rock and roll. Although starting out as mostly an acoustic guitar player, Roesler has seemed to master the heavy, yet crisp electric guitar sound. Roesler and Virock are able to blend their vocals into a mesmerizing yet very clean sound, over-top of the broad range of guitar tones. Upon first listen, I can’t help but draw a very distinct resemblance to the Foo Fighters. It is rare to find an indie rock band that attains the level of songwriting, musicianship, and quality that Chicane Theory delivers, I don’t think this album could have been possibly mixed or mastered any better. This album has something for every music lover out there, and is more than worth the listen. - Minnesnowta Music Blog

Chicane Theory is a very mainstream-friendly band and has a sound meant for radio….will have the listener craving more and eagerly hitting the replay button. -

After the drop of each chorus, the verses lull you into this hypnotic spiral of guitar and vocals. Both parts are quite captivating.... While it ain’t singing about sunshine and roses, Chicane Theory will still light up your ears in a hurry. You just gotta push play. -

Chicane Theory - "Lose Track Of Time"

"...happily combines Kurt Cobain's dystopian themes with the same wilfully atonal ear for melody, most prominently here on 'Fuzzy' and 'Same Old, Same Old'.

"Opening track 'Decision' borrows the kind of pounding drums that the English band Doves really should have patented by now, and marries them to a pleasant melody worthy of a soundtrack or two. 'Fuzzy' keeps the drums, but drops in some angular riffs and walking bass lines to crank up the energy level.

"'Cairo' is more brooding and claustrophobic, until the tune kicks into a brief chorus that could have come straight from Nirvana's 'Nevermind'. Then "Same Old, Same Old" begins with a great rhythm track..."

"... Chicane Theory have some time to digest and refine their ideas before releasing their debut album, due sometime next year. Nirvana fans, take note."

-Chris McCague

My ears were pleasantly surprised the first time slipping this beauty of a disc in. Heck, the fifth, eighth, and counting… With a varied collection of influences ranging from Sunny Day Real Estate to Dinosaur Jr. to Nirvana, there is just the right bite and balance to making a lasting impression here. With a cross between gritty, but subdued vocals and a blend of Americana meets Foo Fighters with slight distorted darkness, Chicane Theory’s debut makes for an interesting moody ride. (thecannyshark) -

Rating: 7.9 out of 10
By Senior Writer C.W. Ross

This Midwest (Minnesota) based band is, Nicholas Roesler (guitar, vocals), Casey Virock (bass, vocals) and Jeffrey Bahr (drums, vocals).

Lose Track of Time is the 6-song debut EP from Chicane Theory. The release has a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality stylistically with the music found on it.

On tracks 1 and 4 ("Decision," and "Same Old, Same Old") the band goes for a light pop edge. The band shifts musical gears with Track-2 ("Fuzzy"), an all out alt. rocker filled with distortion effects. Track-3 ("Cairo") is a moody alt. rock track.

On Track 5 ("Once") the band goes the soft guitar ballad route. It all ends up with the 6 minutes plus song, "Torch." This song sums up the feel of the entire release with its alternating between mild and forceful moments. Just as it sounds like the songs is about to end it springs back to life with an explosion of musical sounds.

The glue that holds it all together is the lead vocals of Nicholas Roesler. He's also joined with some well-done vocal harmonies from the other band members.

The band's reputation is already growing with their song, "Decision" appearing on two different compilation type releases (Rift Magazine, Broadjam).

This EP offers up a nice profile of the band's sound that is headed in the right direction as long as they refrain from going too far down the musical experimenting road with the band's sound. -

Chicane Theory wants to be a little edgy on “Lose Track Of Time,” their debut EP. But even before the end of the EP it is clear that Chicane Theory’s strength lies in a gentler sound. A clean-cut melody on the release’s opening track “Decision” is the first thing to stick out and that impression lasts as the tracks progress. Chicane Theory know how to change their sound up and keep things interesting without being pigeon-holed.

Sounds Like: Soft indie rock

Key Tracks: “Decision”

B- -

Lose Track of Time by Chicane Theory is good. Six alt-rock songs that sound connected to the early 90s, all written and pretty much all performed by Nicholas Roesler. There are some cool guitar licks, nice chord progressions and catchy melodies that allow an even dose of melancholy counterplay with rocking riffs. The opening track, “Decision”, has a guitar intro in the flavor of Coldplay, but it is the second track that really grabs attention. “Fuzzy” is a very Nirvana-esqe track, with heavy guitars, slightly distorted vocals and a dark progression. It sounds like one of the cool b-sides that Nirvana recorded that didn’t see the light of day against all the pop-friendly stuff on Nevermind. The track “Cairo” has some nice vocal harmonies and a catchy chorus. I’ll leave the last three tracks for you to explore, but I assure you that they are good.

Chicane Theory does a great job on their debut album of having a collection of memorable songs. Somewhere in between The Replacements and Buffalo Tom, Nicholas Roesler (guitar and vocals) does double duties well with melodic vocals and a distinct guitar tone. Roesler’s rhythm section helps keep it together with Casey Virock on bass and Jeffrey Bahr on drums. This is definitely a band to check out, if not for the nostalgic influences for a solid musical experience.

Rift CD Compilation (2006)
".... You'll hear a little Paul Westerberg in the vocal phrasing, but the song (Decision) definitely has its own sound."
- Rift Magazine

"On 'Lose Track of Time,' Chicane Theory combines some of the mid-90s 'alt-rock' sounds (a la Dinosuar Jr., Pavement, or Meat Puppets) with contemporary, open lyrics--words which convey emotion and hope that used to be the purvey of folks like Mary Lou Lord. It adds up to be a nice blend of music to hang out with your buddies to, while listening to the lyrics and secretly relating to the songs' themes." -Pam Hill, KFAI - KFAI

Chicane Theory - Lose Track Of Time Out Now

T: Well this one usurped me somewhat. I was expecting some dance beats to come through but instead we have some rather gorgeous, heartfelt Americana. The band have been influenced by such luminaries as Dinosaur Jr, Swervedriver, Meat Puppets and Nirvana amongst others. Even Coldplay make an appearance in their list of references. After the melodic opener, we return to more grunge infested bravado of the aptly titled "Fuzzy", perhaps even owing a debt to Foil's classy debut album "Spread It All Around". And if they've never heard it, they should check it out, because I'm sure they'll like it. Anyway, as much as I like those noise nuggets, it's when the band are at their most restrained that they are most effective.

N: From your opening comment, that's because you were thinking of Chicane! But you are right in that this sometime grungy mix is like a strong, sweet cup of coffee. The vocalist, Nicholas Roesler, and musicians have got the right balance in their presentation, although I'd perhaps like to hear a more tortured delivery.

T: I'm not so sure, I think the gentler numbers benefit greatly from Roesler's tender tones.

N: I was going to say, before you so rudely interrupted, slightly more often, I wasn't dismissing it outright. Of course, you are right in that the low slung, laid back approach he takes in tracks such as "Same Old, Same Old" and "Once" are just delightful. Hell, their whole refrain is low slung and laid back!

T: And after all, it never harmed Stephen Malkmus, did it?


Chicane Theory has mastered something most alternative, indie bands find impossible to do: not sucking. While not conjuring up a truly self-made sound (”Fuzzy” and “Cairo” resemble old Nirvana tracks), but singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist Nicholas Roesler at least appears to be trying to bring something melody-rich and lyrically idiot-free to the table.

The pop of “Decision” is nicely offset with a beautiful ethereal guitar part; the drums on “Same Old, Same Old” are somewhat bland, but the bass line has great movement and lifts the song to a better level; and instead of copping out with a half-assed downtrodden chord progression on the romantically challenged “Torch”, Roesler offered up something somewhat dark and slightly foreboding … a nice twist from the norm and a good way to portray what love is really like.

For a six-song EP, Lose Track of Time isn’t so bad. Granted, it could use a little cleaning up here and there and maybe some more time spent on production, but that will mostly come with time. Or money. Or both. Let’s just hope that Chicane Theory gets out of the small clubs and into bigger venues ’cause America deserves to hear a high-quality band like this.

SHORT SCALE: CD reviews in 200 words or less
By Rachel Heisler
CD review: Chicane Theory, Lose Track of Time EP (NRGalaxy Music)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 geetars

"Nicholas Roesler’s track Decision was included on the first Rift Magazine compilation this past summer, and it’s an appealing track strung along a sparklingly clean guitar hook. Roesler’s MySpace page also demonstrates his ability to switch it up and play higher octane music on Fuzzy."- Pulse of the Twin Cities

(4/9/08) The hump day dance party continues loud and proud. Guitars happily introduce the narrator who “feels so good to be home and lose track of time.” Although the narrator initially sounds depressed, after reaching home he makes a firm commitment to “decide to live”, and sings in chorus with band mates to the happy guitars making the dance a joy to swirl to.

Yet another great band that is going to get passed over by many people due to a lame-ass CD cover. I thought I was in store for light-jazz, what I got was nice mellow alternative that had me thinking of Foo Fighters for some reason. It's not that the band sounded like the Foo's, it's just that I can hear tinges of their song structure (and a bit of Nirvana as well) in some of the songs, most notably "Cairo" and "Fuzzy". The tune "Once" reminds be a bit of the Foo's "Virginia Moon". Overall, this 2 man band has put together one hell of a CD, not they just need more time on a decent CD cover because with all the music out there it does make a difference.
-- The Chicken Fish Speaks, Mite Mutant (2008)
- Pulse, Eartaste, Chicken Fish Speaks

Despite the ambiguity of their handle and obvious comparisons to Nirvana and Foo Fighters, the songs that bookend Chicane Theory's debut--"Decision" and "Torch"--bask in a sprawling psychedelic haze. The result's slightly off-kilter but oddly appealing.
-- Performing Songwriter, July/August 2008 -


2013 - Things Look Up Again - May 2013!

2008 - Lose Track of Time - 6-song EP - Airplay and charting on 200 stations across North America.

2008 - New Music West Compilation CD - "Same Old, Same Old"

2007 - Singer/Songwriter 101 Compilation CD - "Decision" (nationwide radioplay and chosen for TV placements)

2006 Rift Magazine Compilation Volume 1 - "Decision" (2006 mix)



Chicane Theory is a three piece alternative rock band based in Minneapolis, MN. Coming off a newly recorded a 12-track album, Things Look Up Again, the band is currently booking a midwest tour to support a May CD release. Chicane Theory's sound is guitar-driven, makes interesting use of song structure, leans on vintage tones interwoven with fresh modern sonic effects, and strong vocal melody, all while maintaining an accesible radio-friendly sound. Our past releases have been played on over 200 radio stations across North America, received international reviews, promoted GAP jeans 1969 line, were selected for use by major network TV shows, and helped land local TV show appearances and radio interviews. We've played a variety of live shows ranging from hole in the wall clubs, to large venues and festivals.