The comparison with The Beatles is often a death wish for bands who don’t live up to the claim often slung on by PR companies in order to sell albums and gather interest within the artist they represent, which is a trap I often fall into as I either need to disprove the claims or find the next Beatles (which never seems to come true). But do Miss Chain and the Broken Heels live up to the “60s Beatles-esque melodies” or is this claim outlandish?

After a relatively quiet 10 years with the release of only one single, Miss Chain returns to conduct the class with the blend of 60s melodies with a mix of country bordering R&B and the garage rock ethos which Julian Casablancas would be proud of. With therapist lead singer Astrid Dante stating “it’s a mature record” with the lyrics often speaking to the listener offering advice and an ear yet Dante claims “I tried not to sound too ‘therapist’” which must be hard for someone with a psychology degree as they always want to tell people what to do. However, not all band mates strayed too far from the music business as guitarist Silvia Cantele released solo material and bassist Franz Barcella became a booking agent as well as running record label “Wild Honey”.

It’s evident from the get-go that Miss Chain and the Broken Heels aren’t restricted by genre, blending aspects of multiple styles to create a sound which isn’t restrictive and allows them a unique place in a boundary setting industry. Yet the most defining factor of “Storms” is the dream pop guitar riffs which can be likened to that of Beach Bunny with “I don’t know” being an Italian twist on their “prom queen. Both being retrospective on change and being someone else.

A personal highlight for me is “Uh Uh Uh”. A rockabilly song that Carl Perkins would have loved to have recorded. Dark lyrics over a jangly guitar riff. Are Morrisey and Marr writing under a pseudonym? No, but a man can dream. It reminds me vocally of Karen Carpenter, melodic and soft yet able to hold her own in the sea of sound created by the rest of the band. The dark nature of the lyrics is overshadowed by the simplicity of the music backing it often swallowing the introspective message.

The titular track “storms” boards on psychedelia with lyrics such as “listen with your eyes” and “I’ll feel lighter than a storm”, sounding like straight from a 70s prog rock band or from Stevie Nicks’ own lips. Yet the jangly dream pop riffs drive the band forward milking whatever the guitar has left within that genre but still being able to sound unique to every other song on the album.

In contrast, Miss Chain and the Broken Heels shouldn’t be compared to “60s Beatles-esque melodies” as they are more comparable to the Carpenters or early Beach Boys. It is a dreampop album infused with moments of rockabilly, psychedelia as well as at times bordering country whilst still being able to convey a message which doesn’t seem to be in your face like a Roger Waters concept album. “Storms” is worth a listen if you’re a fan of Beach Bunny and dreampop as a whole.

Miss Chain and the Broken Heels: Storms – Out 1st December 2023 (Wild Honey Records)

– YouTube