Brandon Williams' second full-length record as Chastity, Home Made Satan, is a new direction for the Whitby, Ontario-native. It's an emotional and political concept album, the second instalment of his I Love trilogy, from the perspective of a young man who's spent too much time alone, inside, isolated from the world. It's about fear, and radicalisation; an intense meditation on youth and extremism in an increasingly irrational and violent Western World.
Williams, who produces all his own music, set out to create something with a strong cinematic nature, a record that sounds somewhere between My Chemical Romance and The Smiths (even as he cites Morrissey's alignment with the UK's far-right as the complete opposite of his mission). Recorded in a small studio in London, Ontario, with his full band in the few weeks between a European tour with Fucked Up and a seven-week North American tour, Williams crafted Home Made Satan like he was producing a film - his bandmates were the cast members, his engineer the cinematographer, and Williams the writer and composer. "It's so visual to me," he says. "I'm scoring this picture I have, and trying to get it as close to people's ears as it is in my mind."
The new songs are gothier and poppier than ever, recalling '80s goth staples like The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Home Made Satan's got "a bit more" than 2018's genre-bending shoegaze-meets-post-hardcore Death Lust, and it's got pop-punk hooks for days. Wiliams has toned down the reverb, too, on the new record, with an emphasis on vocals and lyrics. Home Made Satan, with its lines about commies and American masochism and the Christian right, is meant to sing along to.
Through songs like "Flames" - a gauzy, hook-heavy, tongue-in-cheek tune that draws a line between sexual fetishism and the fetish of the "American dream," and parallels bleak emotion with bleak economy - and "Last Year's Lust," a melancholy track about the "fucked ideas" we get when we're alone for too long ("Today, I stay home / And I make sure I'm not going to hell"), Williams tells the story of a young man who steps outside of his bubble and sees the world for the first time.
2. Dead Relatives
3. Spirit Meet Up
4. Sun Poisoning
6. Last Year ’s Lust
8. The Girls I Know Don’t Think So
9. Still Feel The Same