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Weekly Nostalgia: Split Lip/Chamberlain

Posted by: Gregory Robson (08/18/10)
Blame it on Bobby Knight. Who else was the fuel for the rage and aggression that emanated from Indianapolis quintet Split Lip, who shook the foundation of the Hoosier State with their hyper-literate, dense amalgamation of late 90s emo and hardcore. Co-songwriters David Mead and Seth Rubenstein announced their status as forces to be reckoned with with the brash and brawny Archived Music for Stubborn People, followed a few years later by For the Love of the Wounded, And then just as things were picking up, everything changed. The band released the opus Fate's Got a Driver, but altered their name to Chamberlain, and then the tectonic plates started shifting.

In 1998, the group decided to chase down Midwestern roots rock a la Springsteen and Mellancamp and released the near-perfect The Moon, My Saddle. The bold move proved both their moxie and their determination, but left hardcore fans high and dry. Shortly thereafter, founding members Clay Snyder, Curtis Mead and Charlie Walker left the band to play in Model/Actress with former Brianiac bass player Juan Monostereo in Los Angeles.

Moore and Rubenstein tried using a hodgepodge lineup and released Exit 263, a collection of uncompleted songs, releasing it independently in 2000 through the band's management company. Shortly thereafter, Rubenstein released a solo debut album Aftershock under the name Adam Dove and Moore pursued other interests. Fully cognizant that their fan base was still unhappy with the new sound, Chamberlain released Five-Year Diary in 2002, a double CD featuring live tracks, old demos and B-sides, stretching back to Fate's Got a Driver and beyond.

After a brief stint in the bluegrass project Chevy Downs, Moore quit music altogether.. He resurfaced in 2008 and last year released the gorgeous My Lover My Stranger. While each of these projects are good in their own right, there's still a good chunk that yearns for the soaring guitars, spiky drums and full-throated yelps that made Fate's Got a Driver and For Love of the Wounded so infinitely rewarding.

Though the band did reunite last year for a performance at New York City's Bowery Ballroom, and are currently touring in support of The Gaslight Anthem, the rumor mill maintains that this reunion is just an ephemeral stab at nostalgia. But for those of us that found a kinship in the ragged energy of Fate's Got a Driver, we're all holding our collective breaths and hoping. And for those that want a taste, head over to Chamberlain's Bandcamp page and listen to "Raise it High," and the fan favorite "The South Has Spoiled Me," featuring Brian Fallon. Sure, it's not quite the blistering, sweaty swerve of Fate's Got a Driver, but it is the original lineup back in the studio and back on stage. As they always say, everything comes full circle.

Head to the replies to catch a few live clips of the band and their swagger.
    
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 23
10:39 AM on 08/18/10
#2
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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10:47 AM on 08/18/10
#3
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
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I saw them open for Gaslight and thought they were really boring
10:49 AM on 08/18/10
#4
SSLYBY
Back in the saddle.
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Lobe this band
10:58 AM on 08/18/10
#5
Jeremy Aaron
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Huge fan. The Moon My Saddle is easily one of the best albums to come out of the '90s. I think with time even the hardcore fans probably came to appreciate it for what it was. I was going to do one of these posts for them a while ago, but I found it difficult to put to words their remarkable evolution and history. Their whole catalog is solid, but I've always felt Moon to be the apex.
10:58 AM on 08/18/10
#6
InTheatersNow
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Man were they not good when they opened for Gaslight.
11:00 AM on 08/18/10
#7
Gregory Robson
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Huge fan. The Moon My Saddle is easily one of the best albums to come out of the '90s. I think with time even the hardcore fans probably came to appreciate it for what it was. I was going to do one of these posts for them a while ago, but I found it difficult to put to words their remarkable evolution and history. Their whole catalog is solid, but I've always felt Moon to be the apex.
100 percent agreement with you. Good Lord, what an album. Some of those lyrics are just out of this world and the songs. Whew. It's a beauty. So glad you're a huge fan of it.
11:08 AM on 08/18/10
#8
spansen
and then what happens?
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i just got excited to read this because of the bobby knight reference. i'll check them out later tonight when i have more time. :)
11:11 AM on 08/18/10
#9
abusedcat
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Huge fan, hell - look at my icon!
The Moon My Saddle is one of my all time favorite records.
11:29 AM on 08/18/10
InTheatersNow
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Only douches sing with a mic stand.
11:36 AM on 08/18/10
AP_Punk
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these guys are awesome.

the moon, my saddle is a solid, great album.
11:44 AM on 08/18/10
NateFoundGlory
Why do you stay till you see blood?
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I disagree with those saying they were boring opening for Gaslight, I thought they were fantastic.
02:02 PM on 08/18/10
Chris Collum
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Yeah they were awful opening for Gaslight.
And their fans were annoying as fuck.
03:14 PM on 08/18/10
craigboliver
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Chamberlain was rad, didn't know they changed their name from Split Lip, will have to check out some of those records
04:18 PM on 08/18/10
theDrivingSnow
I wouldn't know.
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quality post/feature
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