EP Review: Chay Snowdon – Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Then We’ll Begin)

Chay Snowdon and his band hail from Plymouth and serve up 20th century rock and roll with a 21st century twist.

By Graeme Smith

Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Then We’ll Begin) is the debut EP from Plymouth four-piece Chay Snowdon and musically it’s five tracks of pure, uncomplicated rock and roll. Beneath the driving rhythms and swaggering guitar riffs though, Chay Snowdon have a story to tell. Across the EP, the guys skewer different elements of modern society from youth culture, toxic masculinity and fashion.

The irreverent lyrics are delivered by frontman Chay with tongue firmly planted in cheek and the energy never comes down from eleven. The band put the EP together to offer some escapism and something to dance around to while stuck indoors and it delivers on that intention. The only downside was that it did make me horribly nostalgic for those pre-pandemic indie disco days.

After a short intro, the EP hits you straight away with What The Kids Want, a hooky, frenetic track which is the perfect introduction to the band’s sound. Tough Guys Die First follows – a vignette with a seedy sexual undercurrent. Loud Shirts is a homage to being young, stupid and hedonistic. Men Cry Too is a contrastingly touching moment that goes introspective before the seedy sexuality and humour returns with unconventional love ballad Cash Only.

Due to the restrictions of the last year, the EP was largely recorded DIY in a caravan sat on a driveway. If that sounds like a challenge it was one that producer John Cornfield – who has worked the likes of Muse, Razorlight and Supergrass – was able to meet and the EP’s quality is clear and elevated.

With the personality and professionalism Chay and his band have put into their music, it’s not surprising to see they’re already getting a lot of attention. They’ve been played by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6 and on other stations in Plymouth and around the world. If you’re into your turn-of-the-century rock and roll, you’ll love Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Then We’ll Begin). Just make sure you’ve got your dancing shoes on before pressing play.

Check out the EP below. If you like what you hear, check out our Bang! playlist on Spotify for more like it.