by Thomas Bedward March 14, 2022
After making their mark last year with a string of impressive singles, the rapidly emerging indie-rock band of Columbia have taken to 2022 with an unstoppable energy, delivering a massive new album that is sure to impress.
Comprised of frontman and rhythm guitarist Craig Lewis, Ben Rowlands (lead guitarist), Chris Webber (drums) and Sten (bass), Columbia opened the year by sharing the stage headlining with English rockers The Shakes, at The Moon Club in their home city of Cardiff, where they were enthusiastically received by the crowd. This was quickly followed up by a headline gig at The Dragonffli in Pontypool ahead of the exclusive debut album launch event, again held at The Moon, which saw a swathe of the band’s highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Embrace The Chaos’, performed as part of an exhilarating live set.
An album that has been more than ten years in the making, writing the album was a process that evolved from writing the songs first for himself, explains Craig, "Most of these songs were written sat on my bed or in the living room, and were just written for myself. Before even taking them to the rest of the band I had to love them first. And I still do it now. I’ll write a song and keep it for myself for a week or two, and if I get that feeling from it then I’ll get the rest of the band involved. And that was exactly the same for this album. Most of these songs were written very quickly. I tend to find that those that come fast are my best songs. Usually if I like it, The rest of the band will too."
He continued, "The album has been about 10+ years in the making. And it’s not been easy. From where I’m from, people are into drinking and football, which is fine, I love those too! But most of my friends are into dance music and not really into the music I listen to. So I know when they turn up to a show, they’re doing it to support me.That’s a great feeling. So me trying to be a rock and roller was always going against the grain. But I like that - that sense of being the underdog from the very start, and it’s still pretty much the same now. I’ve always got that mentality of wanting to prove myself and show people what you’re about. I’ve always wanted to carve my own way’".
With the vocal talents and rhythm guitar of frontman Craig supported by the incendiary lead guitar riffs of Ben and moody basslines of bassist Sten, the group is propelled along by the thunderous drumming of Chris - but there is much more to Columbia than sheer indie rock - there is also a personal, emotional depth and relatability in the lyrics contained in many of the songs on ‘Embrace The Chaos’.
Standout singles ‘Keys To The Kingdom’ and ‘Glory People’ have helped to push them into the realm of talented unsigned guitar bands who have that rare ability to combine great songwriting and powerful lyrics with a sound that takes its origins from the best of the likes of Oasis and other powerhouse 90’s bands, whilst sounding refreshingly new and exciting.
The Welsh four-piece sound more than stadium-ready on this album, and possess an energy unleashed in their recordings which leaves you feeling excited for their future as a live act.
Recorded and Engineered by Andrew Sanders at King’s Road Studios in Cardiff, ‘Embrace The Chaos’ features singer Ahsa Jane on the track ‘Glory People’ ‘We are the Glory People and we shine’ - this is, without a doubt, Columbia’s time to do exactly that.
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by Thomas Bedward May 27, 2022
by Thomas Bedward May 26, 2022
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