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Album Review: CHON by CHON

Instrumental progressive post-rock act CHON release their third album CHON on 7th June via Sumerian Records. Now lets get this out of the way early doors, we were big fans of their debut Grow (2015), it showed a young band with plenty of forward thinking ideas with the potential to be a great band. Then came 2017’s Homey and we hated it, the effect-pedal-heavy elements of electronic music and trip-hop didn’t sit well with us. Then the CHON ‘bros’ came out in force and gave us days of abuse.

The upside was that it was the websites best week for traffic, and it highlighted a sub-genre of the post-rock scene that is full of pompous, entitled American ‘bros’ going crazy over meandering guitar noodles. See Polyphia as another prime example.

Needless to say, we went into CHON with a little apprehension.

Thankfully it sees CHON doing what they do best. The over-elaboration on different effects is scaled back and there’s a sense of the band rediscovering a more streamlined approach and some of the talent that made them an exciting prospect.

There’s the deep progressive propulsion of first single ‘Peace’ and ‘Spike’, which spins the band’s youthful tech and metal influences together into a flashy riff-athon. Elsewhere ‘Petal’ and ‘If’ contain some lovely explorative guitar work, when they get it right you can almost feel yourself floating off into a hypnotic land full delicious guitar licks.

Then at other times they get it wrong and it all comes crashing down, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Cloudy’ get the album off to a turgid start and there seems to be a little lack of direction. ‘Pitch Dark’ gets it completely wrong and it’s a struggle not to skip past.

‘Dead Ends’ and ‘Thanks’ along with the aforementioned ‘Peace’ and ‘Strike’ combine to make a strong finish to the album, their fans may have tarnished CHON for us, but this album is definitely a step in the right direction.

AD Rating 6/10

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