CHON / Polyphia / TTNG / Tricot at Union Transfer
In the past seven years, CHON have gone from playing local shows in their hometown of San Diego to a spot on the Billboard 200 and tours with Animals As Leaders and Circa Survive. The easiest category to put CHON in would be “instrumental,” but that doesn’t do the band justice. On their debut full-length Grow, CHON incorporate prog rock and jazz with lightning quick picking, staccato drumming and buoyant melodies, creating a sound that’s fresh, exciting and wholly their own. (They even add vocals to a couple songs, “Can’t Wait” and “Echo.”) There are intricacies to the songs on Grow, but the band’s approach to writing music is simple and organic. “We have fun writing this kind of music,” says guitarist Mario Camarena. “We don’t take it too seriously; it’s just music we naturally write. I hope people who enjoy our stuff have fun listening to it.”
From their growing fanbase and positive reviews, to tours with scene heavy hitters, it’s safe to say people are indeed enjoying CHON’s music. The San Diego band, which also includes guitarist Erick Hansel, bassist Drew Pelisek and drummer Nathan Camarena (Mario’s younger brother), began in early 2008 when friends Erick and Mario began writing what would become CHON songs. Soon they were ready to start playing shows, but they needed a drummer. So they taught Nathan how to play drums and had their first show that summer. It wasn’t long before they were playing every show they could.
In 2010 the band took an extended break, but by 2012 they had decided to pursue CHON full-time and were back to touring and writing music. “We’ve always had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to make [music] a career,” Mario says. “For some reason this project just turned out to be the one. It’s the music we started writing when we came into our own style and had our own original sound.” They released their first EP, Newborn Sun in 2013 and followed it up in 2014 with the Woohoo! EP. That record put CHON on the map, earning them a spot on Billboard 200.
Much like the title of their debut album suggests, CHON have evolved greatly since forming in 2008. There’s no telling where they will go next, musically—but more people are sure to be listening.
Hailing from the quiet suburbs of Plano, Texas, progressive rock outfit, Polyphia, are anything but mild-mannered. With a distinctly thought-out and well-orchestrated sound, the quartet pummels out blistering blast beats, and an onslaught of guitar shreds that blends, seamlessly, with melodic grooves and a humble intensity that never wears on the ear. Capitalizing on a «Standard of Excellence», the band wishes to inspire those who listen with their doctrine of uncompromised work ethic and self-motivated success.
ttng formerly known as This Town Needs Guns are: Tim Collis (guitar), Chris Collis (drums) Henry Tremain (vocals, bass)
«This Town Needs Guns sound stylish, sussed and like reformed mathcore men Minus The Bear covering seminal Mancunian miserablists The Smiths. Good, in other words.» — Kerrang
Oxford, England's TTNG has always been known for walking a tightrope line between pop melody and technical precision. But, their sophomore album, 220.127.116.11.0 finds the band blurring the lines so masterfully that their intricate, spindling guitar lines and soaring pop hooks reach unforeseen apexes. And, so it's fitting that the band titled their new album after esoteric means of counting: 18.104.22.168.0 referring to the Mayan calendar's Long Count indicating the beginning (August 11, 3114 BCE) and ending (December 21, 2012) of the current creation.
22.214.171.124.0 is their first album featuring their new vocalist Henry Tremain following the amicable departure of former lead singer Stuart Smith in 2011. This lineup shows considerable growth and cohesion with Tim Collis' signature bluegrass style finger-picking electric guitar lines weaving around brother and drummer Chris Collis' stop 'n' go syncopated rhythms as Tremain's rich vocals glide across the proceedings. But it's the band's earnest songwriting that really shines herein.
TTNG have stayed true to their sound rather than chasing pop payoff like many of their contemporaries. The result is a leaner, stronger version of themselves similar to the way kindred spirits Pinback and Grizzly Bear have honed unique identities over many years. Album opener «Cat Fantastic» kicks things off at a spritely pace with an incredibly nimble clawhammer plucking guitar melody that sounds like a hybrid of Flatt & Scruggs crossed with Robert Fripp. But, it's the warmth to Tremain's voice and the song's hooky chord progression that makes it easy to forget the depth of musicianship on display throughout. Elsewhere, ethereal vocal melodies weave together with rapid-fire guitar and bass interplay on «Havoc In The Forum» and a sliced-up sounding drum pattern on «I'll Take The Minute Snake.» Tremain's vocal acrobatics in «Left Aligned» reach stunning highs while slithering bass chords, fugue-like guitar notes and rollicking drums form a sturdy base. «126.96.36.199.1» perfectly closes the album with a chiming lullaby of interwoven piano and lightly plucked guitar notes.
«188.8.131.52.0» was released worldwide on LP, CD and download via Sargent House on January 22, 2013.
Tricot is a Japanese alternative rock band formed in Kyoto on September 1, 2010. The name is transliterated in Japanese asトリコ, «toriko.» It is pronounced «tree-ko» after a French word for a type of knitting.
The band founding members are Ikkyu Nakajima (vocals / guitar), Motoko “Motifour” Kida (guitar / backing vocals) and Hiromi “Hirohiro” Sagane (bass / backing vocals). Drummer Kazutaka Komaki joined in May 2011, when they established their own label, Bakuretsu Records.
Their music is a blend of indie pop melodies and harmonies with math rock dynamics and time changes.
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