Chase Stain - "The April EP" CD


The Punk Rock Tribune

June 2021

Written By: Joey Reckless

GRADE: C


It had been over ten years since Chase Stain (the former bassist for Numbers On Napkins) has released anything as a solo artist, and fans have been eagerly waiting for The April EP, which is the fourth installment in Stain’s Month Series. I’ve been a huge fan of Chase Stain and all of his previous projects, including his first band Dirty Laundry.


To be honest, I expected more from The April EP. Stain had ten years to work on this release, so I expected the EP to be a strong release that would help propel him back into the underground scene. Instead, The April EP surprised me by being so mediocre. The EP isn’t terrible, but it’s not good either. Stain starts the EP off with the title track, “April”, which is a rockabilly tune with an upbeat tempo, intricate bass lines, and complex guitar riffs and solos. I’m impressed with Stain’s skillful playing, but the songs sound quality was weak, and it would have sounded much better if Stain had taken the time to polish up the track.


Track two is titled “Lady Luck”, a short and sweet tune that has a strong Sublime feel to it, and track three is a cover of “I Wanna Be Naked”, originally performed by pop punk pioneers, Screeching Weasel. Stain puts his own spin on the song, making it an acoustic song that is played at a much slower tempo. Stain’s unique take on the popular Screeching Weasel tune gives the song a new original style, and Stain’s version sounds nothing like the original, which is interesting and is a good display of Stain’s creative songwriting capabilities.


Track four is titled “My Mistress”, a song about Stain’s love for playing music and songwriting. In the song, Stain refers to his “Mistress” as his guitar using a variety of metaphors, and the lyrics remind me of George Harrison’s lyrics for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Harrison’s lyrics in The Beatles song explain how his guitar “Weeps” to be played, and Stain has similar lines in “My Mistress” such as, “Sitting alone in this empty room, I got nothing else to do, when she calls my name, I can tell she’s in pain, she just wants to feel my hands on her neck, so I say what the heck. Pick her up softly then I slow stroke, she don’t want me to hit even one off key note. She wants a slow rythm, don’t care about rhyme, I change up the style but she can’t make up her mind.” Although Stain also writes about how much he loves music and how songwriting has helped him throughout his life with lines like, “She stayed by my side when I was just fifteen and my first heartbreak was killing me….lasted through my marriage and stuck by my side, supported me through my drug years when I was way too high. Made it through the birth of my baby girl, now she’s the second most important girl I got in the world.” The lyrics are strong, heartfelt, and well written. However, I didn’t care for the guitar playing in the song, and considering that the song is basically about his guitar, I expected more from Stain. The tone of the guitar on the recording is weak and it sounds cheap, and Stain plays basic guitar fills that just don’t grab my attention. I think that “My Mistress” has the potential of being an amazing song, but Stain didn’t take the time to make the track shine the way that it could have.


The last track is titled, “One Thing about Santa Carla I Never Could Stomach….. All the Goddamn Emo Fags”. The song gets an A+ for having the best song title on the album, but the recording quality is weak, and the lyrics are almost too cheesy for my taste, as Stain sings about losing a girlfriend, then getting invited to her wedding, which she has on his birthday. Okay, that’s a bit too much for my taste, and Stain lays on the depression a little too thick for the song.


Overall, the EP fails to have the same strong energy that Stain’s previous releases have had, and I had to grade the EP with a C, due to the fact that it sounds average and doesn’t give the same energy as Stain’s other releases in his past. I can only hope that The May EP will end up being a better representation of Chase Stain’s music… and hopefully we don’t need to wait another ten years for Stain to release it!