Overall Score: 8/10 Positivity: 9/10 Catchiness: 8/10 Vocals: 9/10 Pros: Upbeat | Great Vocals Cons: Too Short!
Bassist of pop punk veterans and friends of Rocksins Bowling For Soup for the last seventeen years, 2012 sees Erik Chandler branching out on his own for a first stab at releasing some solo material. In an interview with Rocksins back in October 2010 Erik told us that away from Bowling For Soup “there were songs that needed to be written” (read Rocksins interview with Erik Chandler here) and now, eighteen months later we are hearing the results. After collaborating with longtime Bowling For Soup associate and renown producer Linus Of Hollywood over a short period of a few weeks this four track E.P entitled Writing The Wrongs is the result.
Aside from the upbeat, happy pop punk Bowling For Soup are well known for producing, Erik’s solo material has much more of an indie rock feel to it. The press notes accompanying this E.P state that Erik regards the late 90’s and early 00’s as a golden age of rock and indie rock and from the general sound and feel of the EP it is easy to make (favourable) comparisons with bands such as REM and Jimmy Eat World in their earlier days. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch Bowling For Soup’s acoustic tour last year may recognise some of the songs from when Erik performed his solo set on the tour and the songs have been honed and polished since then.
Opening track Tonight’s The Night is a four minute slice of easy listening rock gold which feels very upbeat, particularly when the subject matter is about a relationship break up. The tone of the song will put a smile on the face of many and in my opinion could be a very successful single if it was released as such. Second track Push The Pedal carries on the good vibes of the first track while Hold It Together almost tells the other half of the story from Tonight’s The Night, this time being on the receiving end of a painful breakup, but it does so in up tempo fashion as one might expect from one quarter of Bowling For Soup. Erik even throws in a very nice short guitar solo for good measure. Final song Malibu Classic carries the positive vibe through to the end, with some backing “whoooaaaaoooaaa’s” in the intro and throughout the song used to good effect and the song has a tremendously catchy chorus that deserves to be sung loudly by many people.
Erik’s singing voice is perfectly suited to the particular brand of light indie rock he has produced but his singing talents will not be a surprise to anyone who has seen a Bowling For Soup acoustic show where he often shares the vocal duties with partner in crime and usual BFS vocalist Jaret Reddick. The production and overall sound of the E.P is slick and Linus Of Hollywood has done a great job with it. The songs generally have more force behind them when performed with a full band and it would be nice to hear the songs performed live in this fashion rather than just acoustically (but they’re still very good in that fashion too) so it remains to be seen if Erik will embark on any kind of touring with a band in tow or not.
Overall this is a tremendously promising start to Erik’s solo career. I am sure I won’t be alone in saying I hope he never quits the Bowling For Soup day job, but he is clearly capable of producing very noteworthy other music outside Bowling For Soup and it would be good to hear more of it. The overall score for this would be even higher if there were more than four songs on the E.P. Let’s hope this is the start of more to come.
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