Atlanta-based instrumental trio CHEW are kind of a mess and I mean that in the best way. Their songs don’t come together neatly; there are no orderly verses or tidy choruses to keep the listener grounded. Their music can be as exasperating as it is exhilarating, and if you’re looking to pin them down to a particular genre, good luck. The band, which consists of Brett Reagan (guitar/electronics) and Sarah “Snare-uh” Wilson (drums) of DAMS and Brandon T. Pittman (bass) of Swank Sinatra, is just as likely to blast off into a cosmic prog rock jam as they are to abandon themselves to an acid jazz freakout or drift into a downbeat stupor. If you want to reach for an umbrella term, experimental certainly fits, although it’s not all that helpful in describing the sort of heady ruckus these three local vets create together.
Recorded live while on tour at Tallahassee’s WVFA 89.7 FM, “Bianca Vasquez (Trash Hump Island Adventure)” finds CHEW in a slightly more complacent mood than on the two Bandcamp singles that first introduced the band. Rather than splintering off into various exploratory paths, the group sticks to the task at hand, locking into a series of slurred-out psych rock grooves that tumble and spin about in an intoxicated daze. If it did nothing else, the track would highlight the strong chemistry between the trio, but, fortunately for us, it’s also a rousing brain-melter that should more than hold us over while we wait for the band to complete their debut EP. Listen below.
CHEW will perform tonight at WonderRoot in support of fellow locals Hello Cobra and Savannah’s Culture Vulture. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.