Rockwell Shift’s album Chance to Take presents a warm and heartfelt collection of pop-rock songs – fusing organic musicianship with gently emotional vocals and a considerable level of space; giving the music a real-time, genuine feel. Anytime opens up the album and slowly but surely delivers a thoughtful, intimate story-line, and a sound that feels in many ways like stripped back, acoustic punk-pop.
As the album progresses, the sound remains reliable in being that go-to, light and uplifting style of playlist that feels both nostalgic and sweetly relevant to today. What separates the songs from each other is a series of memorable melodies, a slightly varied set-up, and some deeply personal story-lines. I Know I Let You Down Again showcases all of this in a vibrant way, and in contrast, It Sounds Broken afterwards appears with a delicate, piano-touched ambiance, which builds into something a little more folk-pop than what came before. This third song connects in a beautiful way and outlines a new side to the band’s sound and approach to expression.
Elsewhere on the project, songs like Hopes & Dreams create a fuller, multi-layered synth backdrop that feels a little more indie-pop. Still that leading vocal has flavors reminiscent of nineties punk pop, and there’s always something very honest and emotional about the lyrics. Lost Mistakes afterwards has a wonderfully country-like chord progression and features a brilliant meeting between melody and concept. The song captures your affection pretty quickly with its optimism and ongoing sense of possibility.
Musically the song Figured Out shines brightly within the playlist, perhaps for its simplicity – the single riff, the realness of the drum line, the crisp and up front vocals – there’s something gorgeously entrancing about everything within. It feels a little Chili Peppers-like during the hook, adding further to the subtle eclecticism of the project. Stuck follows and the sound feels familiar, still holding close to that instrumental softness that lets the band calm you down. The story-line captivates well.
During the latter half of the album, My People pours through as a slightly funky, gorgeously soothing and hopeful piece of music and performance. It feels like a singalong moment of quiet togetherness – making you feel less alone, prompting you to appreciate those you hold dear. The story-line veers off down less positive pathways, thus is life, but still the chorus keeps you focused on the good things. Easily recognisable and a definite highlight – though Thinking Too Much afterwards hits with a brilliant rhythm and warmth that’s equally enjoyable.
Last In Line is a song that offers a splash of distortion and a sort of mellowed out pop-punk feel – short verse lines rise higher at the end. The song sounds quite raw in the recording, relaying the live sound effectively and making you likely to seek out a gig. State Of Grey follows and the contrast works beautifully – this gentle, acoustic and openly personal song has a magnetic quality here. Another easy highlight, stunning lyrics and a subtle, honest presentation.
This entire album sees you feeling more and more connected to the music as each song emerges – right the way through to the finishing song. Tell Me Again is an absolute final highlight with a stunning guitar ambiance and a powerful contrast between the verses and the hook. The emotion, the lyrics, and the overall feel of the song brings the album to a close in a superbly memorable and quite addictive manner. A great way to go out. Chance to Take is a mighty album, a wonderful playlist that grows more and more enjoyable the further into it you get – and more so with each new listen afterwards.