Chon – Grow

Rating: 2.5
Released: 2015


Band Line Up:
Mario Camarena – Guitar
Erick Hansel – Guitar
Drew Pelisek – Bass
Nathan Camarena – Drums
1. Book (Feat. Matt Garstka)
2. But (Feat. Matt Garstka)
3. Can’t Wait
4. Drift
5. Echo
6. Fall
7. Knot
8. Moon
9. Perfect Pillow
10. Splash
11. Story
12. Suda

Chon are a alternative band from San Diego, California and after listening to there debut album Grow, there is a lot to be desired, however there is some positives that the Chon can build on.
I gather by the way the album has been put together, the first two tracks are introduction into Grow, showcasing their musicality and creative direction throughout this release. They do what they need to do, nothing special, however they are sufficient and highlights the skill set and musicianship of the band which I am impressed with.

For the two vocal tracks on this album, they are good tracks in terms of the production and the journey when listening to each one. Echo is the stronger out of the two, the reason being is Echo shows more of the band capabilities on delivering a track and I feel song writing and the delivery of the vocal is stronger than Can’t Wait, listening to them both simultaneously, Echo has had more thought put into the track and you can hear that just in the production and maybe Chon enjoyed recording this track more, however I wouldn’t switch radio station when this track is selected for radio play.

After Echo, my hopes of a solid second half of Grow was noticeable and after a really eye opening with Fall and Knot, I’m not entirely sure what happen with the remaining three of the five tracks left on the album, but there not great. Let’s start with the huge positives in Fall and Knot, the joy I got when listening to Fall and in someways Knot too was greatly received and tells me this is a very talented quintet we’ve got on our hands. First thing which hits me is the glitch effective introduction into the smooth transition a little showcase into Nathan Camarena musical ability and then changing the feel of the track twice after just for a few bars each time is clever and impressive and I would happily listen to Fall, but the biggest thing that Fall does is it takes me on a alternative jazz journey which is fluent and full of expression. Leading onto Knot, there are similarities with Fall, but for me is goes a completely different direction with a trance like quality to the track. With the detailed various guitar elements and which keeps the listener engaged and the unexpected pad effective element which adds a new dynamic to the track, it’s unpredictable and flow fluidly throughout.

Expectations were high going into the next track which is Moon, Moon delivered a repetition of the same thing all the way through the track, I understand what Chon was trying to do here, however it failed miserably and does nothing whatsoever to enhancing the listening experience of Grow, in fact it hurts the album especially after the two best tracks on their debut release. All of a sudden Perfect Pillow hits me in the face with a feathery mess of a Chon interlude of significance, very enjoyable to listen to, however Splash and Story, too similar for my liking in the musical and production elements of the tracks, the stand out being the guitar elements. When you listen to a album, a flow and progression into the ideology and creative direction of a artist or band should shine through, what Splash and Story does is give me a puncture and having to wait for the car recovery vehicle to arrive and get me back on that journey.

Suda rounds of the album effectively and its very nice listening experience, putting  Grow together in one track. The actual meaning of Suda in a spiritual sense is completion and foundation, these two words sums up what Suda does and does very well. I’ve certainly got mixed feelings with Grow, there are tracks which shine above all the rest, there is a track which shouldn’t of made the album, there are tracks which are solid and well produced and there are tracks which needed more thought which the creative direction and what Chon wanted to achieve with the delivery and structure of the tracks need to be shone through.

Overall its a average album which Chon has provide, I am saying this because I see the potential within Fall, Knot and Suda where Chon could be heading within the coming months. The musicianship of all the members of the band is first class, but I struggle to think there thought process when putting the album together, especially the order of some of the tracks and what feelings and emotions they wanted the listener to get when listening to certain tracks on Grow. It’s only Chon debut release and with guidance and advice producing and delivering album two, I hope they will learn from Grow and I’ll look forward to see if this will be the case.

Review By Z~Z