Album review: The Chisel – What A Fucking Nightmare

If anger really is an energy, The Chisel could replace the National Grid. And, with the way things are going in the UK in 2024, they might have to.

Fortunately, The Chisel’s second album is the perfect soundtrack for a decaying nation in which nothing works and where everyone seems permanently furious at the state of things. Despite the competition, however, frontman Cal Graham is more livid than anyone. What A Fucking Nightmare is a spittle-flecked monument to his righteous raging against the machine.

Take Bloodsucker, for example. Two minutes of insanely incensed ire aimed at, well, having to talk to a boring bloke in the pub. Now imagine Cal’s wrath at the things that actually matter.

It’s like a rowdy roundhouse to the face of Broken Britain. The brutal beauty of The Chisel, however, is that their exasperation never gets exhausting. And that’s because, while their Oi!-influenced punk rock – with riffs powered by Chubby & The Gang frontman Charlie Manning Walker – is so lean it makes Rancid sound like Emerson, Lake & Palmer by comparison, their antagonism is always backed up by some serious tunes.