Chasing Vegas - What Happens Here Stays Here
Record Label: Destiny Records
Release Date: September 23, 2012
Seattle, WA; a place known for the birth of grunge and alternatives alike, coffee, rain, hipsters, and suicide. Over the past decade or so I couldn't name an artist that's come out of here that I am fond of or would really care enough about to advertise to the world. I've lived here my entire life, I go to shows constantly and meet local artists and nothing ever really comes of it. So as I started hearing more and more from friends about this Pop-Punk band playing on Warped Tour this year, I was shocked! Music I might like from here that was actually playing on tour and was Pop-Punk music. Name one legitimate Pop-Punk band you know and like from Seattle... I can think of one band that nobody has ever heard of and they made one album years ago then split. Let me introduce to you these new-found hometown heroes of mine, Chasing Vegas.
With all this talk up I'm gonna have to get something clear first; this isn't some groundbreaking, revolutionary Pop-Punk that's gonna change the way you look at music forever, I am just impressed. Hearing them is somewhat of a culture shock for myself because I gave up on finding music at home a long time ago, He Is We just wasn't cutting it anymore. Lead single "Bad News" is first up on this 11-track debut LP by the name of What Happens Here Stays Here (yes, cliche, I know) and it gives you just the perfect taste of what you can expect from the rest of the album. Opening up with bouncy chords that will instantly have you wanting to jump up and down in your seat and reminisce of the days when Hit The Lights were talking about body bags and Cartel was writing in a bubble. It stands as an excellent opener if you're a fan of this style of Pop-Punk. It has an innocence to it that wraps around your head and just makes you feel happy. The story of going to a party and dealing with that 'one girl' oh, haven't we all been there. The bridge contains gang vocals, woah oh-oh-oh's, clapping, the whole nine yards. If you've been searching for music that just screams to let you lose and jam out, here you go. That's the only thing I do when I listen to this record.
I won't touch to much on specific tracks as I really want to portray who this band is, and how they go about their business. Matt Reams shines as the lead man with vocals through out as well as one of the two guitarists. You can really tell he knows what he wants and goes straight for it in every song. He has a very controlled voice and does a great job of hitting notes high and low without getting lost or sounding whiny. His voice literally sounds like it was made for this kind of music. While Matt may be going strong, the rest of the gang does not disappoint either. As a whole the band just gives off a strong sense of knowing where they stand, they aren't settling with Pop-Punk, they are creating it because it's what they love and and they do a good job at it. If All Time Low started with the type of music they are now I doubt anyone would give them any judgement over what they do, that's what Chasing Vegas is too me, what All Time Low was aiming for as they grew but ultimately failed to do. #10, my personal favorite song and what should be recognized for new listeners, "Growing Up" really convinced me that they succeeded. Opening up it sounds a lot like Damned If I Do Ya but has much better lyrics and overall execution of this style. It's an innocent song about learning how to deal with changes as you get older and the difficulties in between. Not to say they are better than anyone or ATL sucks, I have just found myself preferring them. So kudos.
Fun is the best way I can describe this album. Something I get a lack of because I tend to lean more on depth and life-changing music rather than something I can just enjoy for the ride and not have to think the whole time. "Dirty Work" (track #4) is a perfect example of what I am trying to explain. Instantly I am contained by the, again, bounciness of the chords. From the excitement in the vocals, to the consistency of the drumming, and the soaring of the chorus' I can't do anything but smile from cheek to cheek and sing along until the track is done. It's not perfect, it's not innovative, it's not gonna change your life, but it has done something for me that I tend to lack in my life constantly, and that's live in the moment. I never find a band with this sound I will put on repeat, let alone from where I live. So maybe I am a little hyperbolic with this review, but I don't care. If you like the Poppy side of Pop-Punk and can enjoy music that lets you forget for just tonight, there's a pretty decent chance Chasing Vegas could be for you and I wouldn't pass them up because this is only their first effort and they sound like they've been around for at least a few years. Much is to come for these young men and their undeniably catchy debut album What Happens Here Stays Here.