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Classic Bands

The Chameleons Release “Where Are You?” Single with Three Songs Ahead of North American Tour

Long hailed as a pivotal force in the post-punk musical landscape, Manchester’s The Chameleons have indelibly influenced luminaries such as The Verve, Oasis, White Lies, The Slow Readers Club, Interpol, The Killers, and Editors, among countless others. Renowned for their deeply evocative live performances and transformative musical oeuvre, their impact transcends far beyond the release of their previous quartet of studio albums.

The Chameleons’ distinctive sound swiftly captivated audiences with its unique fusion of melancholic yet robust and dynamic compositions, entrancing ethereal guitar riffs, and poignant, enduring lyrical themes. Celebrated as one of the quintessential guitar-driven bands of the ’80s and ’90s, they have made significant contributions to the post-punk, shoegaze, and indie genres. Despite their expansive influence, they remain one of Manchester’s most underrated musical exports.

Though their last studio album surfaced over two decades ago, the band has unveiled a surprising resurgence, including a tour and the release of their new single, “Where Are You?”, now available via Metropolis Records in conjunction with Strange Times Entertainment.

“It’s exciting to finally be putting out fresh Chameleons material for the first time in over twenty years, although initially I found it quite daunting,” admits vocalist/bassist Mark Burgess. “The question about new music is one I had been asked the most from people coming to the shows, a great many of whom weren’t even born when those records were originally made but nevertheless were excited and inspired by the music enough to catch multiple shows on multiple tours.”

The new single “Where Are You?” unfurls with quintessential Chameleons flair, where dense, beautifully resonant guitars interlace with Mark Burgess’s iconic, unmistakable vocals. Echoes of psychedelia weave through the track, reminiscent of “Mad Jack” from Strange Times, while a ’60s rock essence infuses the post-punk foundation. It’s a sublime reawakening of their classic sound, blending nostalgic allure with vibrant reinvention.

The next track is a re-recording of a song previously available on the compilation The Fan and the Bellows, “Endlessly Falling.” This polished version of the song sees The Chameleons at their most jagged and anthemic, with Mark Burgess’s vocals sinuously threading through scorching guitar riffs. This track harkens back to the style of their early albums, The Script of the Bridge and What Does Anything Mean Basically. Its new reverb-drenched refrain evokes the surreal descent of Alice down the rabbit hole. The brisk, entrancing drumbeat propels the track forward, ushering in guitars that eventually yield to the band’s signature riff-laden soundscape.

“Forever” is a mesmerizing acoustic gem, enveloping the listener in its atmospheric embrace. The track finds The Chameleons in a reflective, somber mood, reminiscent of “Tears” from Strange Times but rendered softer, slower, and steeped in a deeper melancholia. It unveils a fresh emotional spectrum, a solitary light seeking transcendence in the dark, presenting an intimate and hauntingly beautiful close to this remarkable collection.

Coupled with these tracks, the Where Are You? EP is a slight taste of an upcoming album titled Arctic Moon, which is planned for later 2024.

“At this moment, we’re halfway through, but already everyone in the band is excited by what they’re hearing,” Burgess says. “We’ve managed to transcend the confines of our own legacy and finally forge something fresh. It’s undoubtedly The Chameleons to everyone that has heard the direction the band is now heading in.”

Currently preparing for a round of North American dates beginning on May 30th in San Diego and working their way East to Washington, DC on August 17th, the band will be celebrating their 1986 breakthrough album Strange Times, which spawned the singles Tears and the alt-rock club staple Swamp Thing.

“I initially wasn’t a huge fan of album performance tours,” Burgess admits. “I believed instead that they ought to have been confined to one-off, special events.” Marking the difference between the highly personal experience of enjoying an album alone with a “good pair of headphones” versus the collective social coming together at a concert, he muses that, in general, the track listing of an album doesn’t take into account a live show’s needs for crest and drama. “Performing Strange Times changed my mind,” he says. “For one thing, the album marked a significant evolution by the band both in its sound and the maturity of the writing. Secondly, it’s a challenging album to perform live and thus, it’s much more fun to play. When all is said and done, we look forward to recreating this particular album for our North American fans!”

The Chameleons are Reg Smithies (guitar), Mark Burgess (bass, vocals, lyrics), Stephen Rice (guitar), Danny Ashberry (keyboards), and Todd Demma (drums). Where Are You? was produced by Christophe Bride and The Chameleons and mastered by Guy Massey.

Order the EP via Bandcamp or Steam it Here

Follow The Chameleons:

TOUR DATES:

  • May 30 San Diego, CA Music Box
  • May 31 Los Angeles, CA The Belasco
  • Jun 4 Vancouver, BC The Pearl
  • Jun 5 Seattle, WA El Corazon
  • Jun 6 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
  • Jun 7 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s
  • Jun 8 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
  • Jun 9 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
  • Jun 11 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
  • Jun 12 Denver, CO Oriental Theater
  • Jun 13 Kansas City, MO recordBar
  • Jun 14 Dallas, TX Sundown at The Granada
  • Jun 15 Houston, TX Dark Ceremony Festival
  • Jun 17 El Paso, TX Lowbrow Palace
  • Jun 18 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
  • Jun 19 Tucson, AZ 191 Toole
  • Jun 20 Phoenix, AZ Last Exit Live
  • Aug 8 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
  • Aug 9 New Haven, CT Space Ballroom
  • Aug 10 Boston, MA The Sinclair
  • Aug 12 Montreal, QC Theatre Fairmount
  • Aug 13 Toronto, ON Opera House
  • Aug 14 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
  • Aug 15 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Hall
  • Aug 16 New York, NY Webster Hall
  • Aug 17 Washington, DC Black Cat

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post-punk.com

From the Editor at Post-Punk.com

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