In the End
Chalk and Numbers called it quits a few years ago, but I annoyed that there were a few songs recorded that never made it on to a 3rd EP. Also, we had released a few singles that were released on other label's compilations but the tracks weren't readily available through Spotify and other streaming services. So to put a nice bow on Chalk and Number's career I wanted to aggregate all of those odds and ends into a final EP.
Some of the material that was previously released already is covered in my previous posts Angelfuck/Shut Down. Brave Boy, Jump Up was something we did for a Fraggle Rock compilation. The original song had a reggae feel to it and we changed the arrangement to be more surf rock to be in line with the Chalk and Numbers sound. I think this song is a good example of everything gelling on a recording. Sable gives an eager vocal performance and I tried to set up my guitars to mirror the 2 guitar sound of Al Jardine and Carl Wilson. The drums are strong but lay off the cymbals for the verses which I think always makes things sound bigger.
Strange is a Patsy Cline cover. I believe this was something we would jam on due to Sable and me being fans of Patsy Cline. It made its way into the live set and then when the band was running out of gas in the recording studio with originals, you always fall back on covers. Being a Patsy Cline song, the focal point of this song is Sable's vocals which I think she brings her own spin to the performance. I added some pedal steel guitar to the track which I'm always looking for an excuse to play.
Things You Do is a live track from a soundboard recording. I wish we had more usable live recordings but this was about the only track that we had. Most of this show had out of phase drums so our mastering engineer had to do some work to even make this song listenable. I wanted to include it because the duo relied on the studio with lots of overdubs, but I think the live performances were pretty damn good translations of the songs. Sable sounds great live and the band plays with good energy.
Blue (In the End) is the only new original on this release. This song was written near the tail end of the band and it was in the live set for a while being recorded. I think it came off really well live, but this recording kind of captures the band falling apart. It's a bit shambling and unfocused with a kitchen sink approach. I'm not sure we were entirely motivated when recording this song and the solo is overdone with guitar trading lines with a fuzz bass. Also I mixed the song to mono which is also a sign of desperation!
The EP closes with Bright Shiny Colors, another cover. I'm not sure why we recorded this but I feel like it was done really fast. I think it works due to its simplicity where Blue (In the End) comes off a bit too forced. Sable gives an earnest vocal performance and I get to play my favorite Steve Cropper style guitar accenting the 2s and 4s. Can't beat the analog reverbs too!
With that, the book is closed on Chalk and Numbers.