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Fate's Got a Driver

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Album Review

Very much a transitional work from a band that helped pioneer the Midwestern emo craze, Chamberlain's Fate's Got a Driver delivers more emotion in its 30 minutes than most bands do over the course of a career. The record is thought provoking and musically adventurous, a rare feat for a band whose members were barely past twenty when it was recorded. With nods to the Everyman side of Sunny Day Real Estate and the insistent melodicism of Fugazi, Fate's Got a Driver consistently impresses. It's all the product of lead guitarist Adam Rubenstein's thick, Fugazi-style progressions and David Moore's highly poetic lyrics. Rubenstein leads the way on standout tracks like the lockstepping "Yellow Like Gold," the instantly thumping "Her Side of Sundown" and the gorgeous, acoustic "The Simple Life," connecting the line between the Police's proto-pop-punk and the D.C. hardcore scene. Although he has to strain his voice at times to keep up with the constantly moving melodies, Moore proves to be well-versed in both Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan, alternating between oblique metaphors ("chance is in her glass house, I know/But I know I'm throwing stones," he proudly proclaims in "Her Side of Sundown") and energetic summations of what may lie ahead ("Cause there's a world that I've gotta see/And it quietly waits for me," later in the same song). The rhythm section provides the cathartic underpinning so crucial to music of this nature. Especially on the incendiary "Drums and Shotguns," drummer Charles "Wigg" Walker transcends standard-issue hardcore stick work with perfectly placed fills and seamless dynamic shifts. An amazing achievement by such a relatively young band. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]


Formed: Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The roots of Chamberlain are planted in the Indianapolis band Split Lip, a juggernaut of the Midwestern hardcore scene between 1991 and 1995. Signed to Doghouse Records when its members were scarcely able to drive, Split Lip (singer David Moore, guitarists Adam Rubenstein and Clay Snyder, bassist Curtis Mead and drummer Charles Walker) released the now impossible-to-find "Soulkill" single in 1992, followed by its debut album For the Love of the Wounded in 1993. The band gained a sizeable following...
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Fate's Got a Driver, Chamberlain
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