Compelling storylines illuminate Chad Kichula’s new EP

Reviewed by Carson James

Chad Kichula/World Shaker

Chad Kichula arrives from Canada with a major fixation on Bruce Springsteen, at least on the title song of this three-cut EP. With a voice as heavy and deep as the Boss himself, Kichula narrates a tale of outlaw adventure and individual freedom taken from the Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke. Kichula’s bluesy singing gives the track an even more compelling storyline, one that can be appreciated even without the context of the film.

“Gotta Hold on Me” is probably less personal but it is still a catchy B-side even though its lyrics aren’t as substantial as the single’s. “Another Love” is laid back and lush, Suzanne Parovsky’s strings illuminating the hushed atmosphere of Kichula’s romantic longing. Having not heard Kichula’s work before, I don’t know if this EP is a creative evolution from his earlier material or simply a continuation of it. One thing is clear: I will definitely survey his future.

http://www.chadkichula.com

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Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Steve Pichan’s socio-political commentaries have non-partisan bite

Reviewed by Brooke Curtis

Steve Pichan/Am I Here Already?

Somehow singer/songwriter Steve Pichan is able to write socio-political lyrics without being preachy or partisan. A big round of applause for Mr. Pichan, please. If Am I Here Already? were to be summed up in a single description, it would be, “Probably the only Neil Young LP that could be appreciated by both Democrats and Republicans.” Pichan slices into news media credibility on the pointedly catchy “NY Times,” slamming the legendary newspaper with the lines, “In the Times, New York Times/Can’t read anymore today.” On one hand, conservatives will appreciate Pichan’s disdain for the paper because of its reportedly liberal bias, but the left-wing set will agree with him as well as Pichan is really attacking the media’s obsession with violence and real-life horrors. The timely “The Line (Voter’s Lament)” takes a non-partisan punch at America’s distrust over politicians.

If all this sounds weighty and too serious, Pichan sends his messages through indelible roots-rock hooks a la not only Young but John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Springsteen as well. The gorgeous, evocative “Somewhere” glides with dreamy acoustic riffs and warm, contemplative singing. “Iron Man” has the tough exterior yet fragile heart of a lost Springsteen jewel. “Here Already?” seduces us with spellbinding riffs and a sultry groove.

http://stevepichan.com