(Review originally posted in Nocturnal Hall Magazine. Link to the original can be found here: http://www.nocturnalhall.com/reviews/C/chon_grow_e.html)
Chon – Grow -7.0/10
CHON is a band that has been making a name for themselves over the past few years. After a couple of demos and a couple of EPs, they have finally released their first full-length album, under Sumerian Records, who they recently signed with. Musically, CHON is instrumental rock that is mostly focused on guitar playing and has elements of math rock, progressive rock, and even genres such as jazz and funk. They are not the first band we have seen do this, as Scale the Summit and Animals of Leaders have already been doing this for many years now. However, what sets CHON apart from bands like that is their emphasis on upbeat tempos and uplifting sounding chord progressions, giving them an overall happier feeling than the other bands. After the success of their two EPs, a lot of people were very excited about the release of a full-length, myself included. However, after repeated listens, I can say honestly say that it did not exactly meet the high expectations I had for it. This is because of several reasons. One of the reasons is that three of the songs on this album (Ecco, Knot, and Suda) are re-recorded versions of songs from the Woohoo! EP. That means that 9 minutes of this already short album is nothing that we have not already heard before. On the other hand, I do think that bringing back Ecco, now spelled Echo, was a good idea, as having a vocal piece helps give the album some diversity. The only other track on the album to contain vocals is Can’t Wait, one of the highlights of the album. Aside from that, this album suffers from a lot of similar songs. It is true that CHON has a unique sound that diversifies them from other instrumental bands. However, they tend to play it safe by continuing to perform this same sound over and over. The album is full of good melodies and great technicality from every member, but for me, it was not a memorable experience as a whole. I am hoping the band will challenge themselves and take time to branch out on the next release.