Chiefs Premiere “Vovi” from Tomorrow’s Over; New Album out Feb. 24


Southwestern trio Chiefs will officially release their debut album, Tomorrow’s Over, next Tuesday on Roosevelt Row Records CD/DL (vinyl in May on Battleground). A current of straightforwardness runs through the record’s 11 tracks, four of which are inherited from Chiefs‘ 2013 demo, Buffalo Roam, and those songs — “Buffalo Roam,” “Palms,” “1999” and “Tomorrow’s Over” — feature in prominent spots. “Buffalo Roam” opens, “Tomorrow’s Over” closes, and “Palms” and “1999” are spaced between newer cuts like “Like a Match,” “Tesla” and “Sharpshooter,” which affirm among other things that Chiefs knew what they were going for their first time out. That demo, recorded as a two-piece with guitarist/vocalist Paul Valle and drummer Stephen Varns — the band is now Valle, bassist Jeff Podeszwik and drummer Kevin Michel — is still available to download, and while of course the sound is fuller as a three-piece and more developed, the basic structures are pretty much intact. And structure is a big part of what Chiefs do.

As noted, Tomorrow’s Over is a straightforward affair. There’s little trickery involved, and the album’s 45 minutes work more as a showcase of heavy rock songwriting prowess than of stylistic experimentation. That is to say, Chiefs have their paperwork in order; they sound assured in their presentation and are ready to continue progressing from here. One rarely thinks of a debut album as a stopgap — and I wouldn’t call Tomorrow’s Over one either, as it would take away from the substance and vibe VallePodeszwik and Michel have working in their favor throughout — but the thrustchiefs tomorrow's over in a song like “Lows and Highs” and the Truckfighters-style percussive tension in “Peel” speak to an eagerness on the part of the three-piece to get on with it. I’ve received no word that one is, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn a follow-up to Tomorrow’s Over was already underway in some fashion. Again, that doesn’t mean Chiefs‘ debut can’t stand on its own. In tone and catchiness, they envision a post-Kyuss incarnation of Helmet, more heavy rock than noise, but with a few-frills undertone that comes through in their verse/chorus tradeoffs, in the turns of mood between “Like a Match”and “Ride” near the start of the record and in Valle‘s vocal approach, which recalls Page Hamilton circa “Unsung.”

One could pick any number of tracks to represent the whole of Tomorrow’s Over, since they feed into a central vibe that persists across the span, but “Vovi” is a particularly efficient encapsulation of what Chiefs are able to make work so well in dealing with familiar elements and crafting something concrete and engaging from them. The crunch of their tones is immediate, but “Vovi” smoothly shifts between open-sounding verse thud and the hooks of its instrumental bridge and subsequent chorus. While grooving, it asks little more of the listener than participation in that process, as Chiefs remain wholly unpretentious throughout Tomorrow’s Over, of which “Vovi” is the penultimate track before the title cut closes out. For anyone who heard Chiefs‘ 2014 split with Fuzz Evil (review here), it should make a suitable answer to the potential that they showed on that release while also setting up the creative growth that they seem so eager to get moving.

Please find “Vovi” on the player below, followed by some quick bio background from the PR wire, and enjoy:

CHIEFS originally began as a two-piece back in January of 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, but after years of releasing demos, touring and playing often around the Phoenix Valley, the duo made the decision to relocate to San Diego, CA. Shortly after, they released a four-song demo entitled Buffalo Roam, and did numerous short west-coast tours to support it. Eventually the group became a three-piece with the permanent addition of bassist Jeff Podeszwik, who filled out the low-end of the band and transformed their sound.

Hot off the heels of releasing a split 7″ with Fuzz Evil through Battleground Records, CHIEFS have returned with a debut full-length record in the bag, entitled Tomorrow’s Over. It was recorded at Arcane Digital Recording Studio in Chandler AZ and recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Butler (Landmine Marathon/Unruh). The record will be out on February 24th through Roosevelt Row Records on CD/DD, with a vinyl reissue through Battleground Records shortly thereafter.

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