EP Review: Chapter & Verse – Glow

Today is ‘exciting release review day’ – yep, that might not catch on – which kicks off with a preview of Glow, the launch of the second EP from East London’s finest Chapter and Verse.

In a previous chat looking ahead to the EP – which is out on Friday (25 January) – frontman Josh Carter told us to “expect a more defined version of Chapter and Verse but with all the same raw emotion.” He also described it as “the real ‘beginning’ of the band” as opposed to being “a bunch of guys trying to figure out what kind of sound they want.” That’s perhaps a little self-critical, as we love their debut EP, but it’s easy to see where Josh is coming from, because Glow is simply fantastic.

It opens up with a big atmospheric background noise and light guitars in the intro to The Casket, which continue under delicious mellow vocals from Josh in a verse that ends with the lyrics: “I’ve tried so many times to lower caskets with bones of intention, Put them to bed for good, But God knows I won’t commit them to the grave, And all because there might be a time, When I need to defend myself, By bringing back those memories of me in the middle.”

Big guitars suddenly kick in over a descending bassline then more intense vocals take over. A cool high-pitched guitar lick comes in as Josh repeats the last four lines of the opening verse in a fast-aced outro.

That’s followed by the brilliant Magazines, which opens up with rolling drums, a reverby noise then a big rolling guitar riff before Josh’s edgy vocals kick in over the top “In what could be the final moments, You’re finally alive, After all this time of being so fragile, That motherfucker is dead inside, Or so it feels when I see you, Lights bring to light.” The instruments suddenly drop out as a big shout of “I am the man I am because of those I’m scared of losing” ushers in a blast of rocky guitars and driving drums.

A heavier second verse follows, with repeating guitars that lead into a singalong chorus finishing the vocals “I bought magazines to help you believe there’s a life outside of this, When things get worse we’re kinder I’ve learnt.” It then slows right down again with cool layered vocals and feint, atmospheric repeats of “Why’d you lie to me?” in the background, then suddenly intensifies led by huge drums from Ash Morton.

A brief pause then an explosion of rocky goodness over a big held vocal, then huge riffs lead us into a powerful final chorus, followed by a heavy smash of filthy guitars to bring it to a brilliant finale. Check it out in the video below:

The pace drops down in the intro to Eleven Hours In Real Time, with a chugging bassline and rolling drums under Josh’s meandering vocals. It kicks into more upbeat vocals “We’ve been here a thousand times before” over heavier guitars, then dropping into a slightly more intense second verse.

A cry of “So where do you think we’d be if the eleventh hour saw us leave, Where do you think we’d be?” sees the pace pick up. Then it drops down as repeats of “Watching you fade away is watching all I’ve known torn from the seams I’ll give you a place to go” build up towards a heavier outro.

Next up is A Devil In Blue, which dives straight into a smash of guitars and drums supporting Josh’s fast-paced powerful vocals, then a couple of cool darting riffs lead into a big singalong chorus of “But see me as the boy you once knew, I know I raged like a devil in blue, But see me as the boy you once knew, And my hell might learn to love the heaven in you.” It’s big, rocky and delicious. Check it out in the video below:

The EP closes out with something pretty special, and a track that anyone who’s been a Chapter and Verse gig will likely have heard before. The delicious Ink begins with a looping guitar lick and repeating drumbeat, which continue under frontman Josh Carter’s delicious vocals “The second half of this page is empty, I have been working on it for so long, That the paper’s turned from white to kind of coffee colour, I have been working on it for so long.”

It gradually builds up in rockiness and intensity, with high pitched vocals leading into heavier drums under the lyrics “You think I’m crazy and you might as well be right, This drug has highs and lows, But I’m waiting for the..” which gives way to repeats of “One in a million” that you can’t help but sing along with. The second round of the chorus sees these repeated words extended over a big bassline, then a piercing ascending guitar line builds up the tension under huge high-pitched vocals. That then gives way to a rockier rendition of the chorus to bring the track to an end.

On the track, Josh said: “Ink is about feeling disillusioned with adulthood and the dangers that lie in obsessing over self-improvement. The song is unlike anything we’ve done before and weve been really embracing the evolution of what we do. Chapter and Verse has become a vessel for us to properly embrace life and for us this song serves as a reminder that focusing only on how to be happy can actually give you the opposite outcome.”

For a special treat, check out this fantastic live version of Ink featuring Courage My Love’s Mercedes Arn-Horn. It’s seriously, seriously good. This recording will also feature on the EP, alongside a live version of Magazines.

On the EP, frontman Josh Carter tells us: “We’re extremely proud of this body of work and we’re excited to have both humans and non-humans enjoy it equally.

“You should expect an accurate and creative reflection of the band’s energy from where we were at when we wrote the record a year or so ago.”

The EP is their first ‘long form’ record since releasing debut The Wolves Back Home in 2017 and, discussing the band’s evolution since that first record, Josh explains: “It’s a progression from The Wolves Back Home, with further exploration of melody, intricacy and dynamic. It’s the Wolves Back Home’s older, more mature sibling.”

According to Josh, music photographer Ashlea Bea – check out her photos here – claimed that “Chapter and Verse are the best smelling band in music…FACT.” And the singer adds: “You  doubt it? Come smell for yourself.”

Chapter and Verse aren’t hanging around, they’re back in the studio early this year so, as Josh says: “Don’t for a minute imagine it will be as long a wait next time.”

Glow is out on Friday (25 January) and will be available on Spotify and iTunes. You can follow Chapter and Verse on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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