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‘Grow’ is the latest album by instrumental prodigies CHON under the label ‘Sumerian Records’. With the technical jazz fusion trio live up to the hype their own abilities has pushed upon them?
Straight from the outset we have an intro track ‘Drift’ to set the tone of the album. Usually I’m not a big fan of atmospheric singles on an album since personally I perceive them as lazy attempts to try and further the length of a short album however here I don’t mind it so much since it isn’t long enough to be worth skipping when playing through in the car with buddies or whatever.
The rest of the album however… MY GOD! Is it any wonder that Thomas Erak from Fall of Troy plugged them or why Matt Gartska decided to record with them! The ability of these young guys cannot be put into words. The chemistry of the two guitarists is unbelievable, its like they were put onto the Earth simply to play with each other… Wait that’s not right… To make unbelievable leaps in what is capable on the guitar… That’s much better.
If I were single out a couple tracks that hit a whole new level with me, I’d have to say Can’t Wait, Grow and Echo. It would be pointless for me to go through every track individually because all you would read is repetitions of the same comment. Impeccable guitar fluency, almost un-understandable drum progressions that leave me in speechlessness as well as surprisingly fitting vocals on one song… Though slated by critics, I must admire the balls it took to sing in this genre but personally I thought it worked incredibly well so I was surprised even further.
Even though ‘Dew’ will forever be my favorite CHON masterpiece, Echo is definitely up there with it. It just resonated on such a high stage with me due to the sheer musicianship in contained within it. Again the vocal performance I think adds a timbre that CHON need to feature a couple times on an album so the guitar tones don’t begin to drag and melt in your ears; sometimes the album though incredibly complex and varied , does get a little bit predictable and repetitive at time (this is only a minimal complaint).
Another little complaint I have with the album is sectioned around the bass. In an instrumental album all areas of the ensemble has to be completely other worldly for it to even stick out to the common listener, but the bass in this album is what I think is lacking from giving this a perfect 10.I know since this album has released the bassist has left on good terms with the rest so hopefully the next album will hit the height that these guys have the potential of achieving.
So overall a shorter review than my Alien Ant Farm review yes, but so is the album and there is much less to argue about. Instrumental master class to any instrumentalist out there who thinks that their guitar idol is really the best… Unless they are these guys them then I’m sorry they aren’t. How is it that I loathe jazz yet love these guys? Damn you CHON.
9/10 Almost flawless; unforgettable listen.