Chon are a divisive band. An instrumental guitar group with toes in the math rock and prog metal scenes, their technical brand of complex, clean guitar acrobatics has enthralled some, and left others cold.
With their debut Glow they delivered a dense and impressive record that nevertheless stopped short of any deep emotional punches. Homey doubles down on the relaxed, lighthearted mood of their debut, as well as the stunning complexity of the guitar work – witness lead single Waterslide. More interestingly, on three of four collaboration tracks on the album, they bring in outside collaborators, and there’s more of a hip hop or even synthwave feel. The addition of vocals and an explicit pop sway with simplified guitar lines results in a leanness and a catchiness elusive to them before. It seems like this is what the San Diegans want to be doing now, then the album segues back into a complex instrumental piece of twinkling guitars. You’ve got to applaud them for making bolder artistic decisions and broadening their repertoire, though it does leave the question of where they will go next. If it’s possible to make saccharine-sweet technical instrumental guitar music, on Homey, Chon have delivered.