From the opening chords of The Chaser, the new album from Secret Emchy Society, you realize you have been transported to a special world. You have walked through the proverbial swinging doors and entered a place where the band is playing a mixture of the feverish rockabilly of Elvis and Charlie, the Bakersfield boldness of Buck and Merle, the Outlaw swagger of Waylon and Willie, and the frenetic cowpunk of Jason and The Scorchers in a way quite unlike any other band in America right now.
As you listen to the booming and beautiful voice of bandleader Cindy Emch, you hear her delivering her affecting lyrical observations on life, loneliness, heartbreak, longing, regret, alcohol, barfights, dreams, and love with a Patsy Cline clarity and Loretta Lynn bravado.
The record is articulate, funny, sarcastic, sad, happy, and exhilarating all at the same time. While all of the songs sizzle and sparkle with emotion, highlights include the impassioned “Howlin’ Sober at the Moon”, the poignant “Hell is a Hard Place”, the spirited titular track “The Chaser,” the touching “Git ‘Er Done,” the barroom confessional “I Get Drunk,” and the mesmerizing album closer “Dance Like the World Is Ending.”
This is a relentless, true to life, bold, unapologetic, sh*t kicking, knock you down and pick up back up again, grab your hand and lead you to the dance floor, kiss you and hug you tight document from the “First Lady of Queer Country” and her band. It transcends the differences of her audience while offering up stories about love and its effects, both good and bad, that we can all relate to and sing along to as well.
At album’s end, as you stagger out those same doors with the singer’s voice and the music ringing in your head, you realize that in themes, words, and sounds, Emch and her musical compatriots have not only emulated and honored country music’s past and delivered a vision of its future with The Chaser but have also presently served up a 21st-century Honky Tonk classic as well.
The Chaser by Secret Emchy Society on the Secret Emchy Society label is now available on the band’s website and on their Bandcamp page
Credits: Cindy M. Emch – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Tolan McNeil – Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar, Mya Byrne- Slide Guitar, Mandolin, Michele Kappel – Drums, Hans Winold – Upright Bass, Harmonica, Carolyn Mark – Backing Vocals, All Songs Written By Cindy M. Emch, Produced, Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Tolan McNeil