Saturday, March 2, 2019

Chase Wigmore's Last 4 EPs Of Christmas (At Last!!)

Before I head to The Algonquin Pub for TONIGHT'S Joni Radford memorial concerts, here's a special spotlight post where we are finally looking at the last four entries in local experimental/metal solo musician Chase Wigmore's "12 EPs of Christmas" series! Over three months after beginning the run of free streaming EP uploads on his Facebook page, and after an admitted break due to concerns of overposting & turning off casual fans, he has finally concluded the series on Wednesday and Thursday with the last four EPs, but there was a slight change of content. Two of the previously teased EPs are not among the February postings, namely the one entitled "How To Totally Sell Out & Still Not Make Any Fucking Money", and an Awokest EP named "The Mostest Awokest", though I can't confirm if it became the paid compilation release "Into The Nightlands" or not. No word on why Chase dropped these EPs from the series, but hopefully it was for the right reasons!

The ninth EP of Christmas is the previously announced revival of his old comedic extreme metal solo project Squirrelboy & The Smiling Giraffes, courtesy of this 13 minute EP "The Smiling Giraffes Have Their Revenge"! Possibly heavier and more distorted than Chase's prior work under this banner, the brutal noise metal attack and occasional humour flourishes come through well, and of course, the guitar work is a highlight! For the record, I'm not moving The Smiling Giraffes to our active band links at the moment, just in case this is a belated archival release, but that may change if Chase records more visibly new material. Give Squirrelboy & company a listen!

Next is the tenth EP of the series, namely the self-titled release by Chase & The Bastards, the band moniker Chase tied to his recent teasers of forming a full band that would be a greater focus in 2019. I don't know if that's still the plan, but the music on display here is definitely distinct from his Awokest or Smiling Giraffes output, harbouring more of a folk/punk sound akin to his past solo shows under how own name. The songs are are largely entertaining, and the band chemistry (assuming it's not just Chase) is cohesive, though if you prefer his extreme metal stuff, proceed with caution. Solid overall, so check out Chase & The Bastards below!

The last two EPs of Christmas are the two replacement EPs not credited in November as being part of the series. Eleventh is now his jazz instrumental sequel release "Stray Dog and the Son of the Holy Mother of Chaos Church Band", which is the longest yet of the last four EPs. In it's own eclectic way, this is jazzier in spirit than it's predecessor, if losing some of it's ethnic flair, and Chase is clearly having fun noodling on the guitar and experimenting with sounds on this EP. Casual fans may not appreciate the musicianship and free-flowing music, but give Stray Dog's encore a listen below as well!

The 12 EPs of Christmas series belatedly closes with a seventh free EP from Chase's techno/electronic solo project The Black Lodge Masters, entitled "The Chaotic Demise of Black Lodge Masters". Does the name truly hint that this is Chase's last release under this name? I couldn't glean anything blatant, but cryptic spoken word and sampling are very much present. This EP ranges from dark techno instrumental work to soft, deliberate, and almost ambient in tone, and it gets the point across well for fans of this side of Chase's musical oeuvre, so give it a listen below!

That's all for tonight, but stay tuned for more from Chase, and for our review of TONIGHT'S Joni Radford memorial concert next! Thanks everyone!

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