After two years since Grow, Chon has done it again.
Editors Note: We were informed that in the liner notes on the record, Brian Evans is credited with the percussion duty on many of the tracks.
Homey is a tear-evoking, wavy treat for active listeners with a lighthearted beachfront spin. The blissful jams are cut from the same legendary caliber that long-time Chon fans are familiar with, and then some.
The guitar chops that redefined music and shook me to my core in Grow are back with similar flair in Homey.
Every song is a highlight. They’re all filled with heavenly layers of one-of-a-kind guitar style. Delicate harmonics, picturesque chords, mind-melting guitar solos are here in abundance on Homey. The parts all succeed at sticking to the same expectation of intricate sweetness. This success has often made Chon’s guitar parts easy to listen to.
My one qualm is an arpeggio riff in “Checkpoint” that comes off as a little abrasive. Chon immediately regains my favor in that moment by the riff with a couple of crunchy djent chords. Sincerely, the guitar is flabbergasting in more ways than this review can describe.
The new incorporation of pedals into guitarists Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel’s arsenal is euphoric. Don’t believe me? Listen to “The Space”.
Percussionist Nathan Camarena immediately stands out in the album.
Camarena redefines the capabilities of rhythm in Homey, nailing monstrous parts in perfect detail. The unorthodox tempos and dynamic changes are at full steam in the album, and Nathan Camarena makes obscene licks sound easy.
Songs like “Sleepy Tea”, “Waterslide”, “No Signal”, “Checkpoint”, “Here and There”, and the lowkey hit “Glitch” (but basically in every song) are moments where he shines with blinding talent.
A subtle thing I’m gushing over in “Glitch” is Nathan’s incorporation of percussion into the production. He uses tricks and tools away from the set to inject top-quality percussion into a bumping bass. I could talk about it for hours.
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The new aspect of Chon in Homey has already brought serious controversy to the fanbase.
A new saturation of guitar-infused, production-heavy house music is a step forward in an unseen direction for the band. Many have expressed distaste for the new direction of Chon, but I believe it’s one of the best steps towards increasing palatability I’ve seen in recent bands.
Each feature song lets the production take the reins to a certain extent. Chon instrumentals are infused into each feature at different levels. Where a die-hard fan could find Berry Streets repetitive, a new listener can be exposed to a killer blend between instrumentals and familiar house vibes. To make the deal even sweeter, the die-hard fan gets a production song like “Glitch”, that pulls absolutely no instrumental punches.
If we’re talking Production, don’t get me started about how amazing “Nayhoo” is.
The vocalist for “Nayhoo” is a perfect earworm to deliver the fall-in-love lyrics of what’s sure to be my Summer Jam. “These feelings are foreign, but they won’t go away, and they’re here to stay” are lyrics that make me want to fall in love again. The balance between banger moments, soulful refrains, and sweet little moments is unbelievable. The chorus is perfect. What it lacks in zesty guitar bits, it makes up for in overwhelming heart. It could very well be my damn favorite song off the album.
Bassist Anthony Crawford is buttery smooth.
Anthony follows suit in the ever-charming bass of Chon with a round, low-octave sound. To me, it resembles an organic sounding MIDI compressor. Anthony takes bits and pieces out of songs like “Checkpoint”, “The Space”, and “Wave Bounce” to seriously wail. It’s absolutely delightful. The bass is never too chunky, it never settles into a groove for too long. It meshes into big floating moments to deliver a serious wallop.
To start it off, I had a question going into the first listen. It was, “How does a band that performs at such a high level go even further?”
Homey did just that. Homey is every bit of mathy, technical greatness I hoped for with a new direction that shattered my expectations. There’s much to discover about the moving parts of Homey still, and I think that’s what I’m most excited about.
After that first listen, I want to dig deeper. The buttery bass, percussion worth of legendary acclaim, and refreshing production elements will have me finding the repeat button on Homey many, many times this summer. I know I’m going to find an additional layer to discover to appreciate with every round.
My favorite songs off of Homey so far are Sleepy Tea, Waterslide, The Space, Nayhoo, and Wave Bounce.
I’ve got one more question. Has Homey come up with a song that I love more than “Perfect Pillow”? My answer is no, but that could change in about a thousand listens or so. “Nayhoo” and “Wave Bounce” are contenders.