CHON – ‘Homey’

By Dave Bull

If you could bottle CHON, it would taste like beach side cocktails and feel like warm sun sliding down your throat. With ‘Homey’, CHON have developed on their first album ‘Grow’ substantially, both in terms of aural soundscapes and delivery.

The album has allowed the band to reach out to other artists and produce tracks which enhance their instrumental brilliance. Take ‘CHONxGo Yama: Berry Streets’, which features Go Yama, a dance/electronic beat maker from San Francisco – the waves of Californian warmth amidst layers of that now famous guitar sound that make CHON a unique proposition in today’s scene. The highly stylised, broken beats, almost minimal in their delivery, and the staccato clicks and bites of sound are reminiscent of Russia’s Bop. The mirage and combination of the two is something to behold, providing credence that CHON weren’t afraid to step out of the mould of ‘Grow’.

There is a beautifully natural groove to CHON and their collaborations on this release do nothing but enhance it. Masego makes an appearance on ‘CHONxLophile: Nayhoo’ where he purrs “can nobody replicate this feeling?” It has a deeply commercial vibe to it as a sound piece, but is so much deeper than most on the radio in terms of complexity and delivery that any puzzlement instantaneously melts away.

The guitar work and complex time signatures continue where ‘Grow’ left off with ‘No Signal’ and ‘Here and There’ providing the strongest evidence for their stellar ability to build crescendo-laden riffs on top of ice cream sweet grooves. ‘CHONxGiraffe: Feel This Way’ has a trickling guitar and quite cheesy/poppy intro, before a liquid drum and bass groove picks you up and transports you to downtown San Francisco. In fact, the whole album was recorded beach-side and it really feels like a summer soundtrack.

With these collaborations CHON have widened their appeal. This can often mean that a band has ‘sold out’ or made an album that compromises their integrity but with ‘Homey’, CHON have metamorphosed into a wholly new proposition – one that offers technical, math-inspired rock, but also enhances their obvious love for surf/beach electro soundscapes. The best, albeit shortest, collaboration on the album is saved for last. With ‘xROM: Glitch’, the punching guitar licks give way to a deeply intoxicating electronic blur of beats and synth before the juxtaposed guitar perfectly lifts the track and carries it awash a froth of warm waves.

CHON’s ‘Homey’ is an ‘instrumental’ tour-de-force and will wash away your worries with west coast sunshine. It possesses everything that should be celebrated about a second album: a new direction whilst revelling in what came before. If you’re looking for an album to lift the mood and carry you on foot, by train, by plane or by bus – this is the album for you.


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