"king of pop rock badassery, Chase Hamblin"
“On his most recent album, VAUdeVILLE, Hamblin and his band The Roustabouts meander through stylistic shifts, from the maudlin bar-room piano of the lost-love lament "One More Hour" to the jaunty walking bass in "Can You See The Beast?", a warning call against society's imminent destruction at our own hands. In each compact song Hamblin communicates a gentle humanity matched by the lightness of his slightly lisped lyrical delivery. It's an eminently accessible record that calls to mind the stage shows of its namesake era, and was one of the most enjoyable albums released by a Houston artist last year. The optimistic vigor of his songwriting and performance style ensure that even in a live setting, where muddy sound and disrespectful crowds can often obscure the music's message, we can follow what Chase has to tell us. The message is: the path forward may be confusing and dark, but we're in this together.”
"Step right up, folks; duck your head as you make your way inside the tent, then prepare yourself for Chase Hamblin & The Roustabouts as they roll and ramble through their long-awaited full-length, VAUdeVILLE… It’s like a cross between a tent revival meeting, an old-timey stage/saloon show, and yes, a retro-’60s pop concert, complete with Intermission (a crackly-recorded, fun little bit of barroom piano), and it hits you like a pickpocket in a crowd, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened. For all it’s swaying beauty, it’s eerie and haunting, like Hamblin wants to leave you with that hint of foreboding as you make your way home from the show."
“Hamblin crafts well-proportioned, energetic tunes, veering from Brill Building jingles to bluesy vamps to Beatles-esque pomp, all united by his crisp, elfin vocal style (at times his singing recalls a more theatrical incarnation of of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, if you can believe such a thing exists). Music-hall piano and strutting horn sections buoy the arrangements, and the recording is crisp, lively and clear. This is no lo-fi bedroom pop project; these songs are ready for primetime.”
“Hamblin is a name to watch out for in the near future. His musicianship, songwriting, and singing are all tasteful and confident, and his command of the studio is remarkable. And, guys, you might want to put this on when she's over.”
“The five-song disc, A Fine Time, is layer upon layer of pure, ‘60s sunshine pop with a darkness that reveals itself slowly.”
“[A Fine Time] touches on the golden era of rock and roll where multi-instrumental layers in well crafted songs reign supreme.”
“A singer-songwriter who binds smart power-pop to his Texas roots, Chase Hamblin shows how it's possible to revisit an era without repeating it. His honeyed vocals, combined with his feel-good music, have the power to convert away-from-home houses by the first chorus. ”
“Houston troubadour Chase Hamblin‘s “A Fine Time” caught me by surprise ... Worldly yet innocent, perilous yet playful, nostalgic yet hopeful, this contemporary statement is painted in bold strokes on a 60′s psychedelic canvas. Every whistle and bell in the pop-scape production is lovingly placed. Beautiful work.”
“Infectious pop songs, lavish Beatlesque production, psychedelic imagery, and a sweet, soaring voice to pull them all together. Rufus Wainwright? Jeff Buckley? Beck? Houston’s Chase Hamblin brings the passion of Buckley and Beck along with the lush sound and impressionistic imagery of Wainwright, but he’s also as jangly and hip as the Small Faces grooving in Itchycoo Park. Put another way, he rocks. The sixties are alive and well in Hamblin’s indie pop world, but so is the Texas singer/songwriter music tradition.”
“Chase Hamblin currently has about 12 fans in the UK, which is tragic given just how talented the man is. A native of Houston, USA, Hamblin is fast making a name for himself for producing some of the most exquisite power pop around. He recently issued a five track EP ... that is just about perfect. Let’s hope he makes it to these shores soon”
“Some acts you take your girlfriend to see, and some acts you don’t. Chase Hamblin gets filed firmly away in the latter category. Why? He’s a nimble-fingered, satin-voiced, dreamy-eyed eccentric, for one. Plus, he’s idealistic, which means he sings about idealistic subjects, and girls love that. Also, he wears scarves and top hats and looks like a way cooler Beck, and grew up some in Europe. There’s no telling what kind of crazy sex things he knows about.”
“...a handful of sublimely gorgeous, carefully-crafted pop-rock songs that expand, rather than capitalize, on the retro-'60s pop sound.”
“Anyone crafting such inventive yet melodious pop music has got to be incredibly passionate ... for power pop fans, let me just say that Hamblin is the real deal.”
"Chase Hamblin's A Fine Time EP somehow bridges the gap between the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the late orchestral work of Elliott Smith ... sounding like George Martin or Jon Brion themselves were behind the boards."
“In a word, Chase Hamblin's five-song A Fine Time is fab. Its heavy post-Sgt. Pepper's vibe extends from the pristine production and sweeping melodies to Hamblin's Lennonesque vocals and flowery lyrics.”
“...a collection of songs that play on the 60s British invasion with a modern twist ... with only five songs, Hamblin raises the expectations of how local music can sound. ”
“Chase Hamblin's debut EP, A Fine Time, is steeped in 60s/70s trippy pop. The title track is a tour-de-force, melodic in a Beatlesque way but with enough twists and turns and bells and whistles to reward multiple listens.”