Home Made Satan

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On his 2018 full-length debut, Death Lust, Chastity singer, songwriter, and bandleader Brandon Williams molded the project into a heavy but sometimes syrupy amalgam of metallic hardcore and dreamy psychedelia that nodded to '90s alternative guitar gods. Williams looked to the small Canadian town he lived in for the inspiration funneled into Chastity's songs, and he masterfully captured all the boredom, angst, and daydreamy hope for something else felt by teenagers in suburban towns for generations. With second album Home Made Satan, Chastity switches gears subtly, and in several different directions. Sonically, the songs veer slightly away from Williams' early hardcore impulses. Where the Deftones were an easy reference point for the more intense thrashers on Death Lust, when things get loud on riff-based blast like "Spirit Meetup" or the dynamic tension of "Anxiety," Chastity look more to '90s radio grunge-pop acts (more Bush than Nirvana) or the mall rock heaviness of My Chemical Romance. These moments of aggression are broken up by uncharacteristically jangly songs like "The Girls I Know Don't Think So" or the slow-burning pop catchiness of album highlight "Sun Poisoning." On songs like these, as well as album opener "Flames," the group's usually overpowering sonic assault is tempered into something more in line with early Wild Nothing, DIIV, or any number of bands equally indebted to shoegaze volume and Smiths-y melancholy. The flow of the album is uneven, hopping between these different modes somewhat jaggedly, but the overall production is clearer and more immediate in its toned-down approach. Lyrically, Williams departs from the vague youthful dissatisfaction of earlier albums for far more direct political statements. These can be as straightforward as the repeated sentiment of "There's a special place in hell for the Christian right" on "Dead Relatives" or as surreal as lines about credit card fraud and youthful rebellion on the nostalgic and brutal "I Still Feel the Same." With Home Made Satan, Chastity peel back some layers that obscured the personal perspectives behind the emotional push on their debut. As a result, the songs make a deeper impact and the ideas they present linger after the music fades.

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