The Chariot The Fiancee

After releasing a mediocre EP to little fanfare, following up an excellent debut full-length, many wrote the Chariot off as a one-hit wonder. The seemingly endless line-up changes seemed to confirm the group’s ultimate collapse. Nonetheless, the group, whose only remaining original member is ex-Norma Jean vocalist Josh Scogin, has managed to defy expectations. The Fiancee, while not approaching the brilliance of their debut, presents an altogether different beast and a newly discovered affinity for Every Time I Die-esque quasi-Southern passages. While most of the grind influence and hyperactive intensity are gone, the record stands on its own two legs when viewed objectively. The group seem uncomfortable at points, however — the meandering noise passages and choral bits only serve to bog down and nullify the proceedings. However, as a whole, this is a respectable return to form. (Solid State)