South Londoners Chew Lips debuted a swathe of new material last night to a busy Hoxton Bar & Kitchen. The electro trio first grabbed attention in 2008 with a deservedly hyped EP and their 2010 debut LP kept up the momentum – singer Tigs’ pealing vocals lighting a fire under quixotic melodies that twisted strangely and satisfyingly.
The band were in bold form, buoyed by a high-profile support show on Monday night with Metric, but the new songs, due to drop in January 2013, missed the mark a little. Tigs’ jazz-worthy, rippling voice didn’t get the workout it deserved on songs largely based around an oomph-oomph bassline and little else. It was like watching a showcase singer backed by session musicians – a crushing shame considering what this band seemed capable of two years ago.
When her voice slinks and clutches around the sly melody of old gem ‘Solo’ we’re reminded of the bewitching charm that made this band so arresting in the first place, and can only hope the new album taps into some of that alchemy before it is released next year.
By Gen Williams