Whoaaa, new CHON!! The improbably shredular young lords of progressive instrumental metal, inspirers of over 9000 YouTube comments all like “wut? 0__0” and “how old r these kids??? lol,” have emerged from endless practice sessions to drop a new EP called Newborn Sun. Back in 2008, when you were refinancing your home or tearing up at a screening of WALL-E or resigning from your position as the dictator of a Latin American nation, CHON were living their lives in San Diego and doing exactly what they’ve always been doing: getting there. Now we find the “12 year old drummer,” “14 year old bassist,” and “16 year old guitarists” of yore in a state of five-years-olderness, and five-years-wiserness, with fifteen more minutes of material to batter and flatten all of us like the pathetic olds we are.
Pop open the Newborn Sun stream and hear guitarists Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel switch on a dime from dizzying intertwined leads to tapping-laced solo passages to crisp, jazzy chordal figures from the Cynic playbook — while the rhythm section of Drew Pelisek and Nathan Camarena executes tight breakdowns and steamrolling double-bass runs. The band fuses a bright-eyed modality and a cinematic sense of riff drama (a la Scale the Summit) with the strain of note-overloaded arrangements we’ve heard from Tosin Abasi. Their linear song structures plow through lick after lick after lick with little looking back, resulting in thrilling juxtapositions and ADD shred trajectories straight up to Valhalla. CHON!!! May you continue to evolve as musicians and deliver even more insane instrumental pyrotechnics for decades to come.