Chout's 'Dogwater' is a Grunge Gem
While quality rock music remains rather underground, South Chicago rock band Chout is the latest talented band discovery that has us both optimistic and excited about the future of rock music.
Formed in 2018 by vocalist Brendan Maier, guitarist Matt Morgan, bassist Rocco Gilsdorf, and drummer Joel Martinez, these childhood friends since elementary school have been writing songs together since the age of 13. Their personal history is reflective in the tightness of their sound on Dogwater.
Released on July 31, 2018, Chout has been gaining hype due to Maier’s vocals significantly resembling those of Alice in Chain’s late front-man Layne Staley. If one were to hear the album’s opening track “Seasons” on the radio for the first time, without question he or she would believe it were Staley singing just within the first five seconds. Maier emits raw emotion in his singing which is refreshing to hear in music nowadays. Music listeners feeling nostalgic for 90’s grunge or hard rock need to look no further.
Maier’s conviction in his singing continues on the second track “So Long Long Gone.” The song opens with a melodic yet heavy guitar riff. “You live for me and I just sing this song” Maier sings before an impressive two minute breakdown. Morgan plays an emotive solo which includes some distortion over Martinez’ crashing cymbals. The musicianship of the band is showcased as a whole on this track.
The production on “Restless Heart” is also reminiscent of Alice in Chains. Maier once more delivers a strong and heartfelt vocal performance on this dark and heavy sounding track.
Listeners get a chance to chill out a bit on the following song “All Has Been Done” which is one of the standouts on the album. Baring some similarities to “No Excuses” on Alice in Chain’s Jar of Flies album, this mellow rock track displays Maier’s vocal abilities as well as Morgan’s guitar expertise.
“Out of Time” is a solid track featuring backing vocals on the chorus. Morgan, Gilsdorf, and Martinez further demonstrate that Chout is a tight band.
Both heavy and melodic, “Thin Ice” is another notable track. Kicking off the song is a heavy guitar tone and riff leading into Maier’s distinctive vocals. By this point in the album, the listener can recognize the band as talented musicians but lyricists to boot. “No feeling / your body’s losing temperature / skin’s peeling / death begins to take you / no healing / trapped beneath your will is breaking / no leaving / no one’s reaching out.” Maier sings melodically and upbeat despite the bleak subject matter.
Closing out Dogwater is “To Lose,” leaving an imprint on the listeners mind that Chout is a promising band for which countless rock music fans have been pining. Dogwater is a stunning start for the band and surely they will be filling venues worldwide in the years to come.
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