Chon – Homey [REVIEW]

After the drop of their debut record ‘Grow’ back in 2015, the band known as Chon have shown off how floaty, dreamy and downright technical their mostly instrumental music can get and will no doubt help their case for one of the most exciting bands of their genre. Now they have a new album upcoming titled ‘Homey’ which will no doubt show off more of their variability and skill that the band bring to the table.

Opening up with ‘Sleepy Tea’, you get a complete understanding of what the band was like if you haven’t listened to any of their music before. The clean and crisp guitars that play off each other superbly well with the quirky and upbeat speed of the drums that sound very strongly of jazz influences and start this record. The track switches up its speed towards the end and adds more to the bands variability in skill level. Moving into ‘Waterslide’, the intensity only picks up more and more with the chord changes and subtle nuances in their playing style. You slowly get to hear more and more flavours being introduced wether it be the use of some wah pedal, a little hint of bass or the moments where it sounds like they intentionally seem to play off key to help add to the dynamic of the track before the solo.

Throughout the album you get these remix elements from electronic artists placed around the record that act as a really nice showcase of different attributes. There are four tracks of this nature with the first taking the shape of ‘Berry Streets’, combining forces with GoYama to create this really dreamy, spliced number that goes all over the place with its simplicity before the electronics take the lead towards the end of the record and the tracks starts to build. The interesting uses of voices during the track make it sound like a floaty club banger in places. Moving into their next track with Lophiile, the vocals being brought to you by the other featured artist Masego and again breaks the album down again, blending elements of trap with jazz to create a really interesting fusion. Towards the second half of the album, Giraffage takes you on another flowing beauty with ‘Feel This Way’ and you get a more understanding of these style of tracks that aren’t here to overflow you with solos and technicality, but to bring something easy listening and incorporate different styles of drum patterns, electronic samples and become more of an easy listening experience. The same goes for their ROM track ‘Glitch’, which at times gives each artist a little split of personalities but they don’t overshadow each other and outdo each other to be a top priority and whilst the track might just suddenly end out of nowhere, these four tracks placed around the record add an amazing dynamic to the overall album and only heighten the intrigue.

The rest of the tracks are a sight to behold. Whether you go to the melodically charged ‘No Signal’ which uses a lot more of the harmony structure with both guitarists playing off one another to the mind-bending ‘Here And There’ which seems to go onto weird swing patterns for most of the song although there are moments where the chaos seems to seep through and take hold of you. The fact that the band don’t try and bash you over the head with low end heavy guitars or goes balls to the wall with singing string groove riffs is quite refreshing, as their tactic is more to soothe and caress your skin with much more melodic induced tracks, ‘The Space’ is another great example of this with the chord structure that do take hold for the backing part, but when the lead solos tend to shine through they don’t overflow and drown out anything else that is produced. The last track on the record ‘Wave Bounce’ is a perfect way to round out this stellar album with it feeling like a throwback to older material but always showing you where they are now in their stage of the career, going from fast paced riffs to chord structures in a matter of moments to help capture the essence of the record as well as the band.

What Chon have been able to provide for you is something unlike anything you will have heard before. The genre influences range so much from jazz to progressive to math in a way that they don’t bury you underneath and with the added electronic separations, it makes this album an amazingly paced masterpiece and one that will no doubt be a career highlight for them. They’ve set the bar extremely high for competitors and it will be a while before someone tops this.

 

[10/10]

The Contortionist announce UK headline shows for May/June

US-proggers The Contortionist have announced a headline run of UK dates. The dates fall between the band’s tour with Grammy-award nominees Periphery and Italian prog-metallers Destrage, and their appearance at Download Festival 2017, playing Friday June 09.

31.05.17 – Chester, Live Rooms
01.06.17 – Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
02.06.17 – Coventry, Empire
03.06.17 – Cheltenham, Frog and Fiddle
04.06.17 – Glasgow, Cathouse
06.06.17 – Huddersfield, The Parish
07.06.17 – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms

Vola release their August tour schedule

Mashing all of your favourite genres together in a big explosion, VOLA are planning to return to the UK this August to play two headline shows at Dingwalls in London as well as the Sanctuary in Basingstoke. Including that, the band will also be playing the illustrious ArcTanGent Festival alongside Explosions in the Sky, Tesseract, Converge, Sikth, Future of the Left and Heck.

Listen to the group below!

Uneven Structure – La Partition [REVIEW]

The progressive metal world is getting another album addition into its arsenal with Uneven Structure releasing their second album in four years of their last release. With a lot of weight coming behind another band of the dreamy and djent unit, its time to see how it’ll hold up in a sea of releases.

The album guides into ‘Alkaline Throat’ with a dark and eerie buildup of piano and programming behind as the album reaches its point with gripping vocal singing and djent filled guitars. The album keeps this momentum going throughout the entire track with the lead and rhythm bouncing off one another to create a solid opening track. ‘Brazen Tongue’ keeps this up with more groove inducing riffs that shape the bands musical prowess. They don’t throw out the technicality too much but when they do, it is met with much praise as it sticks with the flow and precision of the track has the same feel as Textures in parts with their musical songwriting. The band are still hitting the marks they need to hit as the album carries on moving forward. ‘Crystal Teeth’ has a big forefront on the atmospheric melody thanks to the lead guitar and the effects it carries through the track, being a great way to shape up what feels like the first act of the record.

From there on out, the same themes seem to relay through the record and whilst it pushes to their strengths, it can feel a bit monotonous in areas. The band still give you what you want with ‘Incube’ and ‘Succube’ which still come off with a booming djent backing sound with emphasis on the guitars and drums, with the vocals hitting the nail on the head every time. The tracks don’t blend into each other, but with the reoccurring themes that are present in the bands character it has a way of just hitting that middle ground as well as some elements that fully show off more of the bands craft. Further down the list you have ‘The Bait’, the theatrical elements shine through quite nicely and give you a more enjoyable third act to the record that it seemed to need to push itself even higher up the listenable list, putting this amongst the likes of Gojira. The album closer gives you an onslaught of power as ‘Your Scent’ careens through the speakers and solidly gives you something poignant that the record seemed to have needed from people who might not be as fixated on the genre.

Overall, the record is a nice starter to people who want to get into Uneven Struture, let alone the genre of progressive metal, but to those who are more at home with the group, this will definitely come out of left field. They’ve put an amazing amount of hard work and effort and it doesn’t go unnoticed, but within a sea of music this record might get lost in the shuffle.

[7/10]