Fredericton’s new pop-punk outfit, CHIPS, have recently released their debut EP, Dingers. Featuring a roster of seasoned musical veterans from bands such as Hungry Hearts, Oh No Theodore, the Ray Finkles, and the Belle Comedians to name a few, CHIPS have recently been making headlines for winning the Stingray Rising Star Award for their performance at the 2016 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.
While just a four-track EP, Dingers is filled with enough energetic riffs, punky harmonized vocals, and catchy hooks to show just how much they mean business. Opening with the intensive, guitar-driven ‘Lose The Soul’, CHIPS demonstrates a powerful punk feel, with an authentic, raw sound tempered through the frame of pop-rock. Following on its heels is ‘Nothing Matters’, an angsty breakup song with an infectious, driving beat. Next up is ‘Something That Tells Me’ which, with a catchy, echoing chorus and almost entirely hollered vocals, has a surprisingly positive, uplifting lyrical content for a song with such an aggressive sound. This should hardly come as a shock though, CHIPS are from New Brunswick, after all.
The final track on the EP, ‘The Game’, embraces the pop element of CHIPS’ sound more than any of the others. With a rhythm worth starting a mosh pit for, half-chanting group vocals, and incredibly lively guitar work, it stands out as the most memorable track on the album, and was the clear choice for the band’s first single.
While CHIPS’ members have a broad spectrum of musical experience behind them, the influence of one past band in particular shines louder than others. Though Adam Guidry’s days as frontman for Hungry Hearts may be behind him and he’s since adapted a harsher, more gravelly singing voice for the sake of the punk rock scene, CHIPS‘ sound retains a few subtle similarities from his older work. For example, the slower, rhythmic chorus of ‘The Game’ or the melody of ‘Lose The Soul’s verses both feel quite reminiscent of older Hungry Hearts tracks.
Whether you’re familiar with any of the band’s extensive back catalogs of former acts or are just hearing them now for the first time, CHIPS is certain to leave a good impression. While Dingers gives us only a brief time with the band, their talent and enthusiasm are unmistakable, and with their recent award for giving exceptional performances, some memorable live shows in the future are almost a given.