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CD REVIEW: Chute - Crooked Doses of Happiness (2011)

By: Cyrus Rhodes






Artist: Chute

CD: Crooked Doses of Happiness

Label: Unsigned

Website: www.facebook.com/chutemusic

Genre: Rock, Alternative Rock

Sounds Like: Weezer, Muse, Green Day

Technical Grade: 9/10

Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs So You’ve Heard. This Ain’t Science

Weakness: Over the top Vocal Intensity, Winded Songs, Marketability



CD based 4 piece Alternative Rock band Chute” releases their debut CD entitled Crooked Doses of Happiness released in 2011. Band members include Ben Bargman (Vocals/Guitars), Konstantin Grodsky (Lead Guitar) , Javier Landa (Bass), Alex Vakhlis (Drums).  


The CD kicks things off into high gear with “Venom” a grinding guitar groove meshed against driving rock rhythm, emotionally charged vocal delivery and well placed harmonies from lead singer Bargman. Track 2 “Roll the Dice” serves up another solid low end groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and impressive vocal accents from Bargman. Track 3 my personal favorite “So You’ve Heard” shifts gears with its slithering musical intro eventually lending itself into a pulsating rock groove meshed with an infectious rock melody that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional  fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Green Day, Weezer, and even Muse. Right from the start you will notice Bargman and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice, raw punk indie feel to it. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as he dishes out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing and a few mesmerizing solos. Bargman’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a standard 4 piece rock band. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. From rocking Thorn”, “Keep it Together”, and Running In Circles” to dynamic “In a Fix” and “Lone Star” to heartfelt This Ain’t Science” and Brace Yourself” to melodic Hamgin’ Around” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “Cure” the prefect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.


If could say anything to Chute right now - it would be for Bargman to step back from the mic a bit on some of the slower/intro parts, find that emotional pocket and ride down the intensity a bit. I really like the voice, the passion and the raw intensity from Bargman, but he comes on way to strong across the board. Use the power mate when you need to, not all the time. Like a bold font in your face. Its’ fair to say Barger is guilty of “over singing” some parts very much like an actor “overacts”. In most cases "under singing" is actually  better. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the above issues effect the CD’s overall marketability.


In close Crooked Doses of Happiness is an action packed production from start to finish. It’s strong suit – its raw feel almost as if you were watching a band play live in the studio. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and powerful – and will no doubt get your adrenalin pumping. Almost as if you were jumping out of an airplane.  


Cyrus Rhodes