CHON
Grow


4.0
excellent

Review

by paradox1216 EMERITUS
March 30th, 2015 | 58 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not a musical growth, but not a cancerous one either.

The youthful energy of CHON is something few bands in their scene possess nowadays. Even some of the youngest metalcore bands write like they’re tired and weary, popping out entire albums worth of samey, uninspired music. You’d never accuse CHON of having an identity crisis – each of their songs contain very similar elements – but ever since the band released their first aggressively melodic demos back in 2008 when the members were at the ripe old age of fourteen, it’s been obvious that the band wanted to craft their own breezy and unique sound. And when they resurfaced in 2013 with their first proper EP, “Newborn Sun”, they retained their guitar playing style and general sense of melody, but replaced a lot of the post-hardcore in their sound with jazz influences and a calmer atmosphere. It was highly acclaimed at the time, but over the two years and two records since its release, the band has stayed with largely the same sound, with the only major change being the addition of vocals on the odd track or two. This has driven some people away from the band – after all, when you have to put out a release a year to stay relevant and keep musically expanding to stay critically acclaimed, it becomes hard to find a proper balance. Fortunately for CHON, it’s hardly impacted the quality of their music at all.

Instead of rocking the boat, “Grow”, the band’s first full LP, finds them polishing the sound they’ve been building up to present in a more official format to a larger audience. “Knot”, “Ecco” (now simply “Echo”), and “Suda” – most of the proper tracks on last year’s “Woohoo!” – have been rerecorded with some slight differences and included on the tracklist. They fit right in, but some of the newer tracks do show some maturation beyond that release. Album opener “Story” might be the band’s most fully realized track in terms of structure and atmosphere; it really makes you feel like you’re about to embark on an adventure. “Can’t Wait”, the newer of the two songs with vocals, moves with more purpose than its included predecessor, and the simple lyrics and small but soothing range of bassist Drew Pelisek will charm most, as his tone is a great fit for the band’s style. And “Perfect Pillow” is taken from the band’s peppier years, providing a much needed dose of tastefully melodic blastbeats (for a second, anyway) and breakdowns.

The production is a wonderful step up from past self-produced releases, with the album being mixed by Crosses member Shaun Lopez. Hearing real, honest-to-god, non-programmed drums on the band’s work brings out so much in the group’s sound, especially when a couple of tracks feature the genius of current Animals As Leaders drummer Matt Garstka. The guitar tones are similar to the ones on “Newborn Sun”, lying in a hypnotic state between overdriven and clean, but much less muddy than before and more evenly placed in the mix. It’s a much closer approximation of the band’s stellar live performances, and given the band’s organic and purposefully imperfect approach to recording parts where slight mistakes are left in for atmosphere, sometimes it feels like the band has shrunk down and entered your ears to perform for you.

Overall, “Grow” shows off a band focused not on musical growth, but on creating an end product that truly represents the sound they’ve carved out on their recent EPs, and maximizing the exposure they’ve garnered in the short while they’ve been active again. You could say the album title represents the expansion of fame the band hopes it will bring them. It’s focused, is reasonably diverse, and runs for just the right amount of time. CHON will need to stretch out its bag of tricks in the future if they want to stay relevant, but for now, “Grow” is the best possible interpretation of the band you’ve grown to know over the past two years, and it’s an addictive listen that doesn’t wear out easily.



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user ratings (457)
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
lhystory (4)
Gathering the best material and motifs from their previous EPs and Demo, CHON sound fresh and wield ...

keza (3.5)
A dream-like melodic journey....


Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
Emeritus
March 30th 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know there was already a 4 for this but what are you gonna do about it



Album is streaming here for those who are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hwTK6hGreM&list=PLH22-xSMERQrmeOAp7kJy-0BHfGJbl8Aw

Beardog
March 30th 2015


3504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review! I really like this band and the album is great, production is awesome as well

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2015


16567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

6 new actual full length songs= another CHON EP.





band needs to evolve quick or risk fading away

Digging: Grey Matter (MI) - Climbing Out

Comatorium.
March 30th 2015


4905 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The reworkings of old songs are different enough to flesh out this release imo. And the production is stellar.

OwMySnauze
March 30th 2015


2099 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hope they rerecord the rest of their demo stuff in the future. Disappointed they rerecorded tracks from Woohoo, found it unnecessary.

bloc
March 30th 2015


60975 Comments


Lyrics ruin some of these songs

Digging: Cut Copy - I Thought Of Numbers

Yuli
Emeritus
March 31st 2015


10743 Comments


I go to CHON for their distinct sound, which is exactly what this album offers. Nothing more or less

Yuli
Emeritus
March 31st 2015


10743 Comments


This review is also great. Nice job dude : )

MrNippleLipz
March 31st 2015


461 Comments


Album has been underwhelming so far. They will never reach demo greatness again, ah well.

Shoteru
March 31st 2015


518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sad about seeing nothing from Newborn Sun on here, that EP was some of their best work. Nice LP nevertheless. Still can't dig the vocals though, cringe-worthy lyrics and a pretty bland vocal style

EaglesBecomeVultures
March 31st 2015


5542 Comments


wank

dawija1017
April 1st 2015


680 Comments


These guys suck at songwriting....it's all so forgetful

paradox1216
Emeritus
April 1st 2015


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I find it all pretty memorable and I've never really understood the wank complaint. I've always found them pretty restrained in that they write riffs and not just solo after solo

danielito19
April 7th 2015


12218 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

one of my roommates jams the shit out of this band

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 7th 2015


5542 Comments


wank

danielito19
April 7th 2015


12218 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

seeing them live with him in a few weeks

Shoteru
May 14th 2015


518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seems like this album needed some time to 'grow' on me huehuehue



Seriously though this is pretty cool besides the vocals/lyrics

brokatar
June 16th 2015


30 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

vox r pretty bae doe

DinosaurJones
July 15th 2015


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Should I check out the demos if this is the first thing I've heard from them?



I dig this quite a bit though.

CuddlyCaucasian
October 21st 2015


111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Replay value is insane



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