REVIEW: CHRON GOBLIN – Backwater (2015)


Canadian riff masters deliver their debut for Ripple

There’s just a couple of things you need to know about Chron Goblin.

First, this, their third record is the first they have released on the Ripple Music label. It might be possible that Ripple have released a bad record, although Lord knows when.

And second, it was Produced by Adam Pike, who has for many years been the man responsible for Red Fang’s live sound.

So, in summary it sounds great and it comes out on the most respected fuzzed up rock n roll labs there is. It’s a slam dunk, really isn’t it?

Well, how about this instead – to torture the Basketball motif just a little further – this ain’t a slam dunk. It’s a three pointer.

It’s opening rumble, the mighty “Fuller”, could move mountains just for grins, and “Seattle” has something just a little more grandiose in mind, but the band are probably at their best on tracks like “Give Way” which adds a real heads down – horns up boogie to things.

Not a totally straightforward experience, it doesn’t do what you’d expect. The title track is oddly disconcerting with its strange, almost tribal feel, and “The Wailing Sound” seems to borrow it’s opening bass line from “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” but it’s stripped back, yet ambitious, sounds are a real highlight here, largely down to its clever use of Angela Vidal (singer with Holy Grove) who adds some fine backing vocals.

It’s genuinely heavy on occasion too. “End Time” doesn’t leave until it’s done something violent, while “Hard Living” – very much it’s companion piece – is short, to the point and very sweet.

Fittingly for a record that doesn’t quite fit in any of the Pigeon Holes that people might want to find for it, “Backwater” concludes with a song that flits about from style to style all on its own. “The Return” meanders, explores and generally packs more into its four and a half minutes than some bands do in an album.

A record that doesn’t do constraints, “Backwater” is almost the perfect follow up to the brilliant “Life For The Living” from a couple of years back. It appears that nothing can stop Chron Goblin from achieving what they want to.

The four piece have been paying their dues for six years. Now it’s their time to cash in and really leave the backwaters behind.

Rating 9/10

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