THE CHISEL is all set to unleash their sophomore album, “What A F*cking Nightmare,” on February 9th through Pure Noise Records. This London-based crew, known for their electrifying blend of Oi! hooks and hardcore punch, is raising the bar yet again.
The album, a 16-track behemoth, was brought to life by the talents of James Atkinson (recording) and Jonah Falco (production).
It’s a potent mix of old school hardcore and UK82 influences, laced with the melodic heft that sets The Chisel apart. From the title track’s ominous intro to the relentless energy of “No Gimmicks” and the infectious chorus of “Cry Your Eyes Out,” this album is a rollercoaster of punk intensity.
The Chisel balances melody and mayhem, ensuring that each track keeps listeners guessing what’s next.
Frontman Cal Graham’s lyrics are straightforward yet impactful, painting vivid pictures of everyday struggles, societal fractures, and the strength found in shared convictions. This raw authenticity is the backbone of “What A F*cking Nightmare,” as the band navigates through topics like class struggle and personal conflicts with unfiltered honesty.
The Chisel, which formed in 2020 from the same creative wellspring that birthed Violent Reaction and Chubby & The Gang, has rapidly ascended to prominence in the punk world. Their debut album “Retaliation,” released in 2021, solidified their reputation, and with this latest release, they’re only digging deeper into the essence of what makes their music resonate.
“What A F*cking Nightmare” is a statement, a testament to the enduring power and relevance of the genre.
The Chisel has crafted an album that’s as much an expression of raw, unbridled energy as it is a nuanced take on the punk sound. With tracks like “Evil By Evil,” “Tomorrow,” and “Cuts Like A Knife,” the band showcases their ability to blend catchy hooks with an aggressive edge, all while staying true to their roots.
The Chisel is also hitting the road, with upcoming shows across the US, UK, and EU, sharing stages with acts like Madball, Scowl, and Sunami. This tour is not just a promotion for the new album; it’s a celebration of punk’s enduring spirit and The Chisel’s significant role in it.
View this post on Instagram
In a world increasingly chaotic and uncertain, The Chisel offers a soundtrack that’s both a reflection and a response. “What A F*cking Nightmare” is a movement, a rallying cry for those who find solace and strength in the gritty truths of punk rock.
Some things never go out of style. Emerging from the London punk scene with a high energy blend of Oi! hooks and hardcore stomp, The Chisel have a sound that’s as timeless as it is exhilarating. Now on their sophomore album, What A F*cking Nightmare, the band somehow cranks the dial further into the red with a whopping 16 tracks that are even more aggressive and even more anthemic.
The Chisel formed in 2020 out of the same pool of talented friends and collaborators that bore bands like Violent Reaction, Arms Race, and Chubby & The Gang. After a series of singles and EPs, the band–whose current line up is vocalist Cal Graham, guitarists Luke Younger and Charlie Manning Walker, bassist Momo, and drummer Lee Munday released their debut full-length, Retaliation, in 2021 and secured their reputation as one of the most exciting new punk bands coming out of the UK. With more attention often comes more pressure, but The Chisel approached their second album with something very key in mind: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” says Younger, explaining, “after we recorded the first record we just didn’t stop writing. So by the time it came out we already had even more new songs.”
That prolific streak didn’t stop and the result is What A F*cking Nightmare–a behemoth of a punk record that doubles down on everything that makes The Chisel such a compelling band.
What A F*cking Nightmare grabs the listener by the head and doesn’t let go.
Recorded by James Atkinson and produced by Jonah Falco (Home Front, High Vis, Chubby & The Gang), the album hones The Chisel into the keenest and most effective version of themselves where the hooks are bigger and the bite is sharper. The heart of their sound draws on elements of old school hardcore, UK82, and other corners of aggressive punk, but it’s The Chisel’s ability to pack a melodic punch that makes them stand out from the pack.
Graham’s biting-yet-tuneful delivery is key to the band’s ability to swing from eye-bulging street punk ragers to triumphant singalongs that even the most faint-of-heart rock and roll fan couldn’t help but enjoy.
After its ominous introductory title track, What A F*cking Nightmare explodes from the speakers with a one-two attack that perfectly encapsulates The Chisel’s sonic dichotomy.
Opener “No Gimmicks” kicks things off with 90 seconds of truly vitriolic punk and is quickly followed by “Cry Your Eyes Out,” which offers one of the most infectious refrains of the band’s entire catalog). “We definitely try to keep a balance,” Graham explains. “If we realize we have a lot of melodic songs, we’ll try to throw in a stomper or something. I think people like that chaos of going from a catchy song to a hard song and vice versa, and not knowing what they’re gonna get next.” Tracks like the blistering “Evil By Evil” or the primal “Tomorrow” manage to be as memorable as they are menacing, while “What Do You Mean” or “Cuts Like A Knife” are packed with charged-up hooks and impressive production flourishes that still never sacrifice an ounce of grit. “With punk, hardcore, Oi!…you’re never gonna be completely clear of some of the cliches,” Younger says. “But we try to do certain things to separate ourselves a bit, to put our own twist on it.”
And The Chisel certainly do have something that’s distinct, something that’s rare but essential when it comes to making music in this tradition: they really mean it. There isn’t a single note of What A F*cking Nightmare that rings anything less than genuine. “I do it all very last minute,” Graham says of his lyric-writing process. “I need to have the pressure, I think that’s why it sounds so immediate. I always just try to keep things the exact same way I would chat with someone–just like a conversation.” His bluntly powerful lyricism cuts through across the album as he sizes up the world around him, painting vignettes of everyday frustrations, class divisions, exploitive authority figures, as well as the camaraderie that comes from finding like-minded people in an increasingly tumultuous world. “I’m not the most philosophical person,” he explains. “I don’t really write lyrics with hidden meanings, I just keep it to what I know, what I’ve experienced, what I see in my immediate vicinity. It’s about dickheads, working class people, punching people, getting punched…”
What A F*cking Nightmare is the kind of album that reminds listeners of all the things that are so impactful and enduring about punk music: there’s a vitality to these songs, tangible sweat, blood, and bootprints that leave a mark long after they’re done. As the final track “What I See” brings the album to a close with a rousing cacophony of blown-out guitars and a single piano chord being hammered like life depends on it, there’s absolutely no doubt that this is The Chisel’s world–and we’re just living in it.