Chavez Cartel are an Australian rock band based in Queensland, formed in 2017 who have released a couple of EP’s and have their latest `Mans Best Friend EP` out this month.

Title track `Mans Best Friend` leads us in and it’s a fairly dystopian composition. A song that the band have said is about changes in life and finding the character to adapt well, about looking in the mirror and asking the right questions of yourself. There`s grinding guitar riffs and a throbbing bass line that seems to mirror the narrative of the number shared. We have a break up song in `Midnight Skies` which looks as if it came out of a brief but roller-coaster relationship that as the lyric implies seemed to “burn twice as bright, burn half as long”. A quite powerful nigh on rational meditation on lost love.

`Coming Around` is a grandiose number that the band have related as “It’s a bit post punk and a little bit IDLES inspired. The end is huge and a lot of anguish came out in this song. Vocally and instrumentally, this was performed in almost hatred.” A heavy ballsy offering with a vocal delivery that is one part loathing and the other part irritated but utterly compelling. There`s a sludgy grungy texture to `Writers Block` which is about having said affliction, not something a songwriter needs.

`Don’t Sit Down` is a cover of The Arctic Monkeys’ song that was formed out of a jam at a sound check but has a superbly edgy vibe to it and for me was heading almost towards a stoner kind of feel. A fairly interesting reimagining. This six tracker closes out with `Dead Weekend` a real slow burn initially which is about being kicked around but never giving up and always moving forward. A pretty inspirational submission about hanging in there to reach your goals and overcome challenges set before you. It takes off in pace and volume just after the midway mark and becomes a real rock out. A belter of a number to end on.

The name Chavez Cartel conjures up all sorts of images, such as South American drug syndicates but I read It’s a loose acronym for “Can Have It All Easily” with Cartel stuck on the end. Whatever the name invokes the band deliver an irresistible blend of grungy, blues-infused alternative rock.

After having released three extended plays, a full-blown long player must be on the horizon and I for one, can`t wait.

Rating 8.5 / 10

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