Pin It

The Chief Smiles 

click to enlarge The brother and sister duo provide a distinctive blend of heavy guitars, violin, and vocals.
  • The brother and sister duo provide a distinctive blend of heavy guitars, violin, and vocals.

The Chief Smiles won me over with the first chords. The rest was icing—beautiful, thick, and creamy. Great for Terrible Times opens with sonic guitar and violin, followed by a hard-to-capture drumbeat that provides an intricate dichotomy to haunting vocals. The guitar breathes deeply, the drums gasp and lurch, the vocals weep. This is alternative rock in the early ‘90s vein, adventurous and willing, before it became diluted by corporate plague. The music combines shades of indie, prog, metal, classic, sweater, and sugar rock into a unique vision of sound. The songs are good (a few great), alternating deftly between fuck-off and come-hither, but what makes the record, and maybe the band, is the distinctive blend of Alex Trimpe’s heavy guitars and Sarah Trimpe’s violin and voice. Yes, this is a brother-sister team, but it isn’t shtick. They both have able musical voices that reach for heights and harmony just shy of peril. Sibling rivalry or synergy, they have a nice feel for when to play together and when to back off, and the energy is best radiated on the heavy and quirky tracks. The band currently resides in the musical center of the world, Brooklyn, and the Trimpes originally hail from Kerhonkson—not necessarily known for its creative spawn. But this CD indicates that there may be something in the water there, and perhaps it should be bottled. www.thechiefsmiles.com.

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • CD Review: Christine Spero's "Spero Plays Nyro"

    Why and how dare she devote an entire album to songs by Laura Nyro when we can just listen to the originals on Spotify? I'll tell you why. Because Christine Spero fully inhabits these songs, uncovers hidden nuances, and with her stunning ensemble—including drummer Peter O'Brien, bassist Scott Petito, saxophonist Elliot Spero, and Christine's own magic hands on the ivories.
    • Aug 1, 2015
  • CD Review: Open Book

    • Sep 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Music

  • Art of Business: Bardavon
  • Art of Business: Bardavon

    See a show at the Bardavon this season. You won't be disappointed.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Turning the Turntables
  • Turning the Turntables

    This month, we once again ring in the new year with a specially selected panel of Hudson Valley music mavens, who run down their top releases of 2016 and talk current crushes and future faves along the way.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson
  • Nightlife Highlights: Kris Kristofferson

    Handpicked by music editor Peter Aaron for your listening pleasure.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Music

  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Jason Broome

Hudson Valley Tweets