There is a tense atmosphere running through Burn Your Town, the debut album from Stockton-on-Tees outfit the Chapman Family, which captures a pessimistic, gloomy sense of impending doom and channels it through the undeniable charm of Kingsley Chapman's North East accent. Borrowing a line from a famous nursery rhyme, Kingsley declares "We all fall down/And then we hit the ground" as Pop Chapman's fuzzy bass is throttled by Paul Chapman's thunderous guitar on "We All Fall." Elsewhere, the goth rock sound takes a back seat for the more direct bounce of "Anxiety," where Kingsley swaps his Ian Curtis-esque style for an anthemic, stadium rock performance. One minute you can hear the heart-on-sleeve traits of fellow North East band Maximo Park, and the next you are treated to a fierce, dark Wall of Sound. Aided by crisp production, the two are often thrown in together, creating a blend that shouldn't work, but almost always does. While "Something I Can't Get Out" operates best as an advertisement for Phil Chapman's ferocious drumming and little else, "Kids" is an example of a song that manages to be both an indie anthem and ideal mosh pit encouragement. While never quite reaching the gut-punching emotion it is striving for, Burn Your Town nevertheless manages to pack an impressive, all-round sonic punch.
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AllMusic Review by Daniel Clancy