Ed Tang & The Chops – “S/T”
If the cool name alone isn’t enough to attract you to this EP, then the fact that comparisons to the likes of bands such as Lucero and The Gaslight Anthem should have you rushing to check this out. It certainly comes as no surprise that Ed Tang has punk singer song writer roots but also an appreciation for rock n roll right back to good old rockabilly.
Opening track “When Death Should Find Us” opens with a somewhat daunting spoken intro before moving in to a great rock/Americana song. It has a stripped down, country feel to it but delivered by a rock or even punk band. It even includes some great mid song hand claps to give it a real melodic feel. “Willy Loman” is similar and you can certainly hear the Lucero comparisons on this. It has an acoustic sound with a story telling aspect to the delivery of the lyrics. There is also the hint of a pop tune to it all which is always good to hear. That influence and the understanding of the need for a strong melody are even more obvious on the brilliant ” A Lapsed Catholic”. It’s probably the strongest song on the EP thanks to that great melody. It shows an appreciation that a bit of polish on a track doesn’t mean you’ve lost or forgotten about your roots.
This is ably demonstrated by “Brother In The Way” which sees them rocking out a bit more. This is the track you could easily see being turned in to a ferocious punk sing a long in a live environment. It’s the one that will get the crowd spilling their beer! Final song “Leaving of Liverpool” perhaps shows a surprising link to the UK but has a Celtic verging on sea shanty feel to it. Again, it’s an arms around your mate, crashing beer glasses song that ends the EP with a real sense of camaraderie.
This type of rocking Americana sound sometimes struggles to find exposure here in the UK. Perhaps this is because you need a warm and dusty climate to fully appreciate the sound. This is a shame, but what bands like Lucero and Two Cow Garage have managed to do is build a loyal and hugely enthusiastic fan base over here. On the basis of this release, fans of those bands are equally as likely to love Ed Tang & The Chops and show them the same level of devotion. Let’s hope enough can be done to get them over here for a few live shows which you can guarantee will be a real wild riot.