Bert Ruyten

After a decade of playing in different bands, the Nashville based singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist Chase Tremaine decided to fly solo and dropped his debut record “Unfall” in 2020. Wasting no time, a year later he dropped his sophomore 15 songs record “Development and Compromise” in partnership with Post Emo Records in November 2021, and it’s one hell of a mixed journey of sounds. Let me tell you more about it.

Starting the record with “Saturday AM” with its warm sound and bright melodies sent a lot of positive vibes. It has a dynamic structure that goes from a mellow chilling mood into an upbeat catchy one smoothly all connected by Chase Tremaine’s warm voice and a groovy drum beat that keeps things engaging throughout the whole song. Things get heavier with “I Don’t”, its interesting bassline will grab your attention from the beginning mixed with distorted guitars and heavy jazzy drums that -from my POV- felt overdone in comparison with the guitars in some parts. The guitar work is diverse and pretty enjoyable from the verse’s riff and the guitar melodies and licks introduced as we proceed. The opening riff of “Wired Side of Content” will get people jumping when played live, I wished it lasted longer and had a more powerful sound but, I guess this can be done live easily. I loved the verse’s guitar and bass conversation and how it progressed into a singalong chorus while the main guitar melody kept the whole song intact. The interlude around the 1:30 minute mark slowed things down a little, creating a suitable buildup for the upcoming chorus that led to the outro. “A Compromise” starts with an ambient intro that puts you in an alerted mood before getting into a groovy verse led by Tremaine’s vocal melody and his well-written interesting guitars that switch between strumming chords and picking. The bridge and chorus’s guitar and vocal melodies are catchy and heavy, their changing riffs at the interlude and towards the outro made the song’s structure even more interesting. The album’s dynamics needed the big sound of “Shock My Ears”. The vocal style and heavy bass in the verse and the unpredictable escalating structure kept the balance between Chase Tremaine’s own style and the new theatrical direction he was experimenting with his special guest Brendan Dorman on trumpet. The heavy groovy intro of “Work Together” builds up on the upbeat mood, the drums played a big role in keeping the fluid groove with the heavily determined guitar melody. The multilayered guitars here and throughout the whole record are extremely interesting and were done with a great sense of melody and mood, one of my favorite elements of the record. Chase Tremaine shows his sound design abilities in “Developments” using panning and perfect layering that made it a really enjoyable experience. The vocal melodies were the most interesting element for me, I loved the way he laid his words, especially in the verse, and the diverse vocal deliveries that floated smoothly over the changing moody guitar melodies. “Roethke (First Loneliness)” came in with an intense melody and heavy progressive rock influences. The extended guitar work, pounding jazzy drumming, technical well-crafted basslines and smoothly layered vocal harmonies were all put together in a solid structure creating the fresh dynamic sound the record needed at this point. Tremaine returns to a more alternative direction with “Fear Not Want” taking a break from experimentation and keeping things simple and catchy. The introduction of harsh vocals and experimenting more with electronic elements and piano in “Q2FN” pushed Tremaine’s sound boundaries, and giving those harsh vocals more space in “Interrogate The Fantasy” was a pleasant surprise for me. Those vocals injected a lot of power and energy but -from my humble POV- it needed to end in a more engaging way with a heavier outro. Starting “Madison” you’ll get the feeling that we’re heading towards a warmer and more mellow sound. The simple heartfelt piano melody gave Tremaine’s vocals the space to breathe and shine while the drums kept things active although it felt like it’s rushing things at some parts. Brendan Dorman returns on the trumpet with Daniel Thatcher on keyboards on the colorful tune “Hello, Zunyko”, both added fresh textures to Tremaine’s sound that were needed to keep the listener hooked as we approach the end of “Development and Compromise”. “Wings Not Made To Fly” and “The Things We Can’t Plan” with guests Theo MacMillan and Paige Tremaine respectively ended the record on a heavily melodic and emotional level after a long dynamic trip filled with ups and downs and experimentations, Tremaine decides to close with a chilling tunes with well written and arranged melodies that softly creates a smooth outro for “Development and Compromise”.

“Development and Compromise” is a sonic trip with a heavy dose of melodies and experimentation by Chase Tremaine that you can easily get through artists’ favorite website Bandcamp. I thought a 15 songs record might be too much but, Tremaine’s constant drive to try new sounds and directions made it an enjoyable trip with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Thanks for the journey Chase, will be keeping an eye for more. Cheers!

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