If there’s one thing to be learned from Tamaraine, the new EP from local three-piece Chrome Moses, it’s this: These guys know how to kick out the jams.
The four-song release represents a specific era of the band. While the songs on its 2013 self-titled release were written and ready to go when drummer Clarence Grant II joined about three years ago, Tamaraine more fully represents the current lineup, which also includes dynamic singer/guitarist Joe Piacquadio. "These are the songs we wrote with Clarence behind us, and they’re the songs we played [when we started playing] out of town," explains bassist T.J. Connolly.
The self-released EP — a collection of catchy, sonically powerful delta-blues rock that would fit perfectly on Jack White’s Third Man Records — has just the right amount of grit. And not just because, as Connolly puts it, "the songs took shape in dirty rock clubs and bars." For this record, the band opted to use two-inch tape, the kind used with a reel-to-reel recorder. "It’s the same tape that all music was recorded on basically up until the late ’80s. We like the old sound." The members also tracked the songs live, rather than playing their parts separately and layering them in post-production.
It can be challenging to achieve a clean sound from live tracking — the band itself has to be pretty solid live — but Chrome Moses went into the studio after roughly nine weekends of mini-tours, during which Connolly estimates the band played about 25 shows. All that practice is evident in Tamaraine’s precision.
The band plans to follow up with a sister EP, featuring songs written around the same time, with similar themes. "I think you see this a lot in rock ’n’ roll now; people are electing to [put out] shorter releases," Connolly says. They’re more affordable, for one thing: Bands don’t have to front as much cash for studio time and post-production. But as the Chrome Moses fan base continues to grow, Connolly says, "We want to release things more frequently, rather than releasing 10 songs and then having to wait another two years to release the other 10."