Wrexham-based four-piece Alpha Chino are acoustic-buskers-turned-full-band, creating pop-tinged alternative rock songs. With slide guitar, double bass, and undeniable vocal harmonies, their sound, while appealing to music fans of all kinds, is one all their own. They’ve just released their debut EP, The Last Astronaut, created with a focus on soundscapes and a musical journey for the listener.
“We are right at the beginning of our journey,” says the band of their new release. “ A huge amount of time and love has gone into these songs. We produced, mixed, mastered the tracks ourselves, filmed and edited the video ourselves. We have a humble and grateful, yet, sky-is-the-limit if you put the work in mentality.“
Starting the EP off with “Soft Focus”, you can hear how Alpha Chino has created the “musical journey” mentioned above – there’s something almost cinematic about it, like a moody and attention-grabbing opening to a movie you want to pay close attention to every second of. Hard-hitting drums, captivating vocal melody, and shimmering guitar are the standout aspects of “Soft Focus”. If this was the opening song at a live show, you’d be hooked and ready for a full concert experience. For The Last Astronaut EP, it’s no different; a song like this makes you want to stay tuned in and fully focused on the rest of the album to come.
While the entire release is worth a listen – especially in proper track order, as intended – another song that stuck out to me most was the third track, “Don’t Cause A Scene”. That one guitar riff is so catchy and fun, it grabs your attention right from the get-go. Paired with some fuzzier riffs, and more of those signature melodic vocals, you’ve got a recipe for a memorable track. There’s some big drama throughout the song, with peaks and valleys to the sound that are so compelling you’ll have to listen again. “Don’t Cause A Scene” boasts a slew huge payoff moments in a four and a half minute song.
Overall, the entire EP is smartly arranged and takes you through an array of emotions and moods from song to song. Alpha Chino has melded different genres, styles, and influences into one album, without losing their own unique sonic thread throughout. To say that I was fully dialed-in (and dancing) during each song would be an understatement. Do yourself a favour and get into these five tracks, listen in order, and go on that musical journey with this Wrexham band.