The Chase
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The Chase

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
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"Record Review: The Chase s/t EP"

With the release of Is This It? in 2000, The Strokes revived the garage rock niche with simple, seemingly effortless pop-rock. The aftermath saw the endorsement of bands boasting a similar sense of faux-lo-fi and pseudo-nostalgia for rock n’roll’s former self. Unfortunately, many of these artists failed to obtain the same success as The Strokes. Instead, bands like Jet, The Kaiser Chiefs, and The Vines drew a collective facepalm from the critical world, and effectively removed the brief musical resurgence from the hipster limelight. Fortunately, for Richmond’ s The Chase, the absence of the aforementioned bands has removed the burden of expectation. This makes their 2010 self-titled, debut EP a lighthearted, easily consumable collection of unpretentious party-rock.

While there isn’t much substance on the record, it by no means warrants a Pitchforkian deconstruction. Instead, The Chase EP exemplifies what it means to play in a band: write songs about girls you like/people you know, try to sound as much like your favourite band as possible, and have a fucking blast while you do it. From the get go, these themes drip off of every chord and lyric and are endured for the rest of the EP. The record opens with “Danielle!”, a clean, upbeat flirtation between tidy guitar sweeps and a slightly overused vocal melody that embodies this ‘to-the-point’ style of songwriting. While this track exists as an anomaly and is generally inoffensive, the rest of the record manages to improve upon itself by becoming increasingly more fun.

The main shortcoming of the record is its stark lack of originality (though it is clearly not an issue for The Chase). The songs are likeable, well written, expertly produced and engineered, but lack any lasting effect. For example, the two best songs, “Plastic Man” and “You Are A Stoner” beam with enough energy to satisfy the most rambunctious of party cats, but become almost immediately forgettable. Incidentally, you’ll probably feel the insatiable urge to listen to early 80s rock radio (think more Tommy Tutone, less AC/DC).

But let’s be honest: The Chase is not the most innovative band. The Chase EP is certainly not Abbey Road, Doolittle, In Utero, or Funeral. Not even close. But that’s not the point. While they aren’t going to create pristine works of art any time soon, from the sound of their debut EP, The Chase seem to be far more interested in encouraging you to shotgun Pilsners while hitting on that cute girl/guy that you think was maybe (possibly?) in your class in first year.
- The Modline


"Steveston band chases the dream"

A group of Steveston musicians are taking a no-regrets approach to life as they dive headfirst into the enticing but unforgiving music industry.

The five twenty-somethings have been jamming together for years, but recently re-energized, put all laziness aside, and released their debut self-titled extended playlist The Chase this month.

“I think we just kind of realized that we do have talent and if we didn’t give it a serious run that we would be wasting something,” says vocalist and lead tambourine player Kyle Owens.

Owens, along with Mischa Lowenstein (rhythm guitar), Jeek McIntyre (bass), and twin brothers Jeremy Hankin (lead guitar) and Jameson Hankin (drums) make up the fivesome.

The twins and McIntrye formed a congenial musical trio in Grade 9 guitar class at R.A. McMath Secondary School, and Owens, who first met the Hankins at Lord Byng Elementary School, joined them as lead singer in 2006, three years after graduating high school.

The Chase are now making an effort to take their “loud, potent rock ‘n’ roll” out of Steveston and into the spotlight, officially releasing their five-track EP Oct. 8 at the Shark Club in downtown Vancouver.

“The CD release was awesome, the whole place was completely packed,” says Owens, who works on the ramp at the Vancouver International Airport.

He describes the band’s sound as “basically just rock ‘n’ roll—plain and simple,” with some pop influence to appeal to a wider audience. Louder, edgier tracks “Plastic Man” and “You are a Stoner” are complemented by the catchy anthems “No Shame,” “Danielle!” and “Vibrant Twenty-two.”

“If you want to get proper radio play, you do need to have those kinds of songs,” Owens explains.

The bandmates all have different musical influences, Owens’ top three being the Beatles, fellow brothers band Oasis, and British alt-rockers Kasabian.

He says the Chase have grown immeasurably since taking root in McMath’s music room, and even since they started playing live gigs three years ago.

“When we look back at videos from then now, it’s almost appalling. I don’t like doing it,” Owens says.

He wore sunglasses during their first club show, not because he is a prima donna as the audience assumed, but because he was nervous.

He doesn’t need the shades anymore.

“We have the same name, we’re the same members, core-wise, but we’re such a different band than we were then,” he says. “Every show seems like it was better than the last one.”

The Chase recruited second guitarist and more-recent McMath grad Lowenstein last year.

“It’s improved the sound for sure, because we can do so many more things as opposed to just having one guitar player and a bass player,” Owens says.

The band found their own jam space in Vancouver after the Hankins’ parents finally kicked them out of their Steveston living room. The 7 p.m. practices provided more than ambient dinner music for the family—and neighbours—and the family space “didn’t look like much of a living room when we were in there,” Owens laughs.

Being close friends is a blessing and a curse for the Chase.

“We know each other so well that it definitely helps sometimes, but sometimes we can have some blow ups,” says Owens.

And for the twins, it is especially easy for tempers to flare.

“Every once in a while it’s a little easier to get in arguments,” says Jeremy, a science student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and dairy department manager at the Terra Nova Save-On-Foods. But he adds that Jameson understands him like no one else.

“It’s nice to have at least one person in your band that knows exactly what you’re talking about all the time,” he says.

Jeremy writes the bulk of the music and lyrics, inspired by relationships and everyday experiences.

“I find it very hard to make things up, but I find that life is interesting enough that you don’t really need to most of the time,” he says.

All it takes is a few words, or perhaps a guitar chord, to spark a brand new song.

“Usually when I write a song it’s because I really need to.”

The band has created a unique brand of retro rock, largely influenced by the ’50s and ’60s music they learned to play as teens.

As one of the founding bandmates, Jeremy agrees that the still-relatively-young group has come a long way.

“We have a recording of ourselves in Grade 9 and it’s just the worst music in the world. I have no idea how we thought it was good enough to try and record it,” Jeremy says.

The band has “smartened up,” he explains, now producing pop-rock music that people want to listen to, “rather than just really loud music that people want to get drunk to.”

Visit wearethechase.ca for more. - The Richmond Review


Discography

The Chase EP - October 2010

Photos

Bio

Hidden within the quaint houses of Steveston, British Columbia, The Chase have been brewing a new brand of loud, potent rock & roll. Only recently has the band emerged from the suburbs to show off their super-sonic force within the Vancouver music scene. With an innovative sound and a charismatic stage presence, The Chase have successfully demonstrated that retro-rock doesn’t have to sound like something you’ve already heard.

The Chase, comprised of Kyle Owens, Jeremy Hankin, Jameson Hankin, Mischa Lowenstein, and Jeek, solidified their line up in the spring of 2009.

Years before, the twin brothers, Jeremy and Jameson Hankin, first met Jeek in a high school guitar class. After a couple jamming sessions the trio quickly found out that they had a powerful sound with the potential to attract an audience. However, without a singer the band was incomplete. In 2006, the trio recruited Kyle Owens to be the voice of the band.

The decision proved to be a success. Kyle naturally took to the role of vocal front-man and complimented Jeremy’s prodigal guitar talent, Jeek’s heavy bass presence and Jameson’s explosive drum fire.

After playing countless shows around Metro-Vancouver and B.C., The Chase decided to get serious about their music and add Mischa to the line-up. With a second guitarist, the band was able to expand their musical horizons and rally rowdy audiences with their intense live performance.

In the spring of 2010, The Chase went into the studio and started recording for a six song EP album. Released on October 8th 2010, the album is another testament to the band’s commitment to release quick-witted and unpretentious party rock.

The Chase is on.