All the way from Minneapolis, it’s the adoring and soaring sounds of The Chambermaids. If Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth hijacked Blonde Redhead’s sound, then it might come out a smidgen like what The Chambermaids have managed to harness. Their sound is namely dirty shoegaze mixed with shiny, drifting guitar…pop? I’m not sure. It’s actually hard to put a label on this band, and that is most definitely a good thing.
The Chambermaids have plenty of fantastic material on this album, but they sound their absolute best when they slow down, and allow their music to breathe a hollow and husky life of its own. Such is the prime example of ‘Scraped Away’, a song that is impossible to get enough of. A stalking bass line clutches at straws whilst the post-punky vocals of Martha Weir haunt the absolute fuck out of the song. Seriously, it’s like a ghost is crying for vengeance in the more snarling parts of ‘Scraped Away’, like a haunted house is being lowered over your head and burying you in reverb-drenched horror. Likewise, ‘Flight of Cranes’ shows a band with a sound consciously spiralling out control. The My Bloody Valentine influence plays out steadily as the undercut bravado of guitar juxtaposes the quietly haunted nature of the rest of the song, pain echoing resoundingly, especially in the final moments of the song. ‘Flight of Cranes’ pulls you like Poseidon’s tides, washing your brain out with perturbed layer after perturbed layer of harrowing noise.
But it’s not all beautifully-moonlit macabre on ‘Whatever Happened Tomorrow’, as there’s still a bit of pop buried down there…somewhere. There’s a slight chug, and even some ‘ooo-bap-bap-bap’s on ‘I Wonder Why’, which changes the tone of the track from gloomy to bright-eyed, and gives the song a tonne more depth and texture. Then there’s ‘China Blue’ which harnesses a droning, bled-out guitar sound with some upbeat drumming and ooo’s for an absolute doey-eyed dreamer of a track.
Overall, the fullness of the record, and its tidal nature is what makes ‘Whatever Happened Tomorrow’ stand out from the pack. The Chambermaids will tug and rot your emotions, only to swell back with gusto and bountiful harmony. Its a beautiful thing to see embraced, and ‘Whatever Happened Tomorrow’ as a whole, is a complex record delivered with a simplistic and natural joy.
You can grab the record digitally here, at The Chambermaids’ Bandcamp, but there’s a limited edition vinyl copy going around that is most definitely worth forking over some extra cash for.