There's still hope for everyone unimpressed with the predictable, mainstream rock options; for everyone who feels no connection to rock's buzzwords, fashionistas and micro-genres. Most importantly, there's still hope for everyone who just needs that big musical kick that only a great young band can deliver. It's coming, and it's called Chronic Future. These four young Southwesterners (guitarist/vocalist Ben Collins, vocalist Mike Busse, bassist/vocalist Brandon Lee and drummer Barry Collins) have boldly defined themselves and the new modern age of rock with their Interscope Records debut, Lines in My Face.
"There are so many different directions that music is going in" states Ben Collins. "We want to include everyone, and make the music we love. We want to unify the scene"
The theme of "unity" permeates Chronic Future's music and history. From their diverse influences, to their democratic approach to songwriting and performing, this group has laid out a definitive roadmap to the next great collective sound and vision of rock. This "unifying" attitude does not come by accident. Despite an average age hovering just above 20, the Arizona rock combo have a wealth of artistic experience and uncommon commitment to their own enlightened ideals.
"Music that's focused only on the negative is a little boring for us, we understand and write about darker issues, but we never want to leave it at that" says Collins when discussing Chronic Future's unique concept. "This band has always been about offering alternatives."
One of these alternatives is a three-pronged lead vocal attack that's surprisingly emotive, dynamic and consistent. Chronic Future's towering choruses and tight natural performances stand in stark contrast to the often static industry standard. Co-lead MC/ Vocalist Busse explains the group's strength-through-unity approach: "Ben and Brandon usually come to me with songs or choruses that are well-defined musically. Then I just do my thing and try to tell good stories. I don't have to consciously build on their concepts. I just say what's on my mind and we always complement each other."
The trust and teamwork Busse mentions has been building for years and the payoff is huge. Lines in My Face delivers a lyrical blast that's as honest as it is profound. And the group's instrumental prowess complements this lyrical vision perfectly. The quintet pound out melodic pop-punk, electronic and hip-hop elements that beat in perfect sympathy within their grand rock arrangements. Colorful breakdowns and stark vignettes also lend an artistic accent to Chronic Future's radio-worthy dialect. The finishing touch is something beyond description, even beyond comparison in contemporary music. It's that "unifying" connection to emotional truths that must be heard to be understood. One listen to any cut from Lines in My Face will be enough to convince any listener of the band's collective genius, but the music is more than a fortunate blend of talents. To get where they have, these guys worked long and hard-and they worked smart.
Growing up under the glare of a regional rock spotlight while attending an alternative arts high school in Arizona, the talented Busse, Lee and Collins brothers developed their art in a unique environment. With a membership that's been together since the age of 13, these guys have spent the time needed to unearth a unique collective identity. Collins and Lee began writing music together while both were still in junior high. Collins did most of the singing, but things took off when good friend Busse was brought in. The band encouraged Busse to develop his burgeoning linguistic talent and a truly unique, musical amalgam was created.
The group's early independent releases and kinetic live shows are now the stuff of legend in the Valley of the Sun. After building a substantial underground following, the high school-aged members of Chronic Future cracked local rock radio playlists. Naturally, record-industry heads were turning, and soon the desert was crawling with label reps anxious to add Chronic Future to their respective rosters. Realizing that time and talent were on their side, the band decided to keep a low profile, develop their songwriting and wait for the right situation. Eventually Interscope Records came along with the right deal, and the commitment to a career-defining release was made by all parties.
Lines in My Face was produced, engineered and mixed by Sean Beavan (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Moth, No Doubt). The band also enlisted the genius of their hometown friend Ryan Breen who provides all the sonic manipulation and programming.
In keeping with its creators' tradition of uncommon success, Lines in My Face is the most creative, diverse and hit-laden rock debut in years. The music is symphonic, with a singular power chord backbone and crushing choruses large enough to fill the Grand Canyon. Classic influences like the Beatles, the Clash and XTC should be acknowledged, but there's nothing studious or backwards-looking about Lines in My Face. The disc twists pop, rock and punk in ways that are thoroughly contemporary, perhaps even-futuristic.
Songs like the insistent opener "Time & Time Again", or modern anthems "Shellshocked" and "New York, NY" represent the long-awaited marriage of all things rock and all things musically relevant in 21st century. This potent songwriting makes up the soul of Lines in My Face, and Busse's virtuoso rapping provides the sizzle. The lyricist's rhymes are more than your typical "alternative" compliant-fests. Busse is one poet that clearly understands that the power of hip-hop stems from its mystical connection to the truth.
So forget your notions of the shape and destiny of new-century rock. Forget yesterday's underdeveloped, form-over-substance rock ethic, and its platinum punchlines. Just go ahead and forget everything that you've learned about what conventional rock music can and can't be. But remember this: Chronic Future will be on the road and in your head throughout '04, pounding out tunes from what promises to be the biggest debut release of the year.
--- from the official Chronic Future website