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On album #2, Lawrence, KS trio Chess Club sharpens their songwriting and attack – and ditches the sporadic lapses into screamo – over 2018’s haphazard Hit the Ball. Tightly-wound singer Griff Nelson blends Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge, and Mega City Four’s Wiz, his high-spirited manner belying his lyrics’ pointed sentiments of frustration and unease. Behind Nelson’s seething, fuzz-drenched guitars, and the tumultuous rhythms of David Kreji and C.A. Avery, their sprightly math-rock/emo is mingled with the weightier post-punk of Compulsion, China Drum, Foil, Moving Targets, and Australia greats Glide, never abating through a dozen blistering songs.
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