Sometimes when you’re listening to a band for the first time, and the first note draws you straight in just like that. It’s even better when it is from a band you haven’t heard before. It could make you a new fan of them instantly. I have just had this with ‘In the Morning’, the first track from I’m No Chessman’s brand new EP, ‘Amateurs’.
To provide a bit of background, I’m No Chessman are a four-piece alternative rock outfit from Bournemouth. They have released one EP, ‘This Medicine’, all the way back in 2013. It captures a free spirit, influenced heavily by alternative rock. However, it sounds of its time and with ‘Amateurs’ they have returned with a revitalized sound, which is both dramatic and intense in equal measure.
The band said that when writing ‘Amateurs’ they wanted to express an individuality, a personal touch, and something they hope that their fans can relate and resonate with. On hearing the EP, they have stayed true to their aims, each track is different from one another, and there are hints of post-hardcore combined with their own sound.
The aforementioned ‘In the Morning’ has hints of Panic! At the Disco, particularly in the upbeat piano melody and Michael Rockett’s vocals. They bring out a refreshing passion in the track, setting the tone for an EP full of brash confidence. ‘Actors’ is heavily reminiscent of ‘Ocean Avenue’-era Yellowcard, with a strong emphasis on harmonies which work very well the more you listen to it.
Each track has its own personality, capturing a different feeling. ‘Tell Tales’ is a slower track, with a big theatrical rock soundscape, while the final track, ‘Alive’ brings out a big passionate chorus. It is a track that should be popular at their live shows. It is anthemic and has a driving, fast riff with bags of energy.
In ‘Amateurs’, I’m No Chessman have crafted an EP which shows off their character strongly. It is something that their fans will resonate with, incorporating newer theatrical influences, but retains the alternative rock backbone, which gained them exposure in the first place. ‘Amateurs’ is a rewarding listen and if you are into My Chemical Romance or Billy Talent, you should be well into this.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos