Chung Antique – Go Poetry!

3 out of 5

Label: (self-released)

Produced by: Scotty Tipton

If I listed off a few tags describing a band – indie, instrumental, math, college rock – it’s very, very possible you’d conjure a sound akin to Chung Antique’s, and also maybe even nod in expectation of the pen-on-paper hand-drawn cover art. (And there’s an anchor on there, just in case you were sifting through random notebook doodle / tattoo ideas when imagining such cover art.)

That’s all a knock, but at the same time, this is exactly the kind of indie band you wish you’d been in when you were in college – buddies of whom you’re not-so-secretly jealous, fully displaying songwriting chops and riff and rock bonafides. And while maybe not blazing any new instrumental-angular-rock trails, also not exactly mimicking band X, Y, or Z. Not quite ready for the bigtime, were Chung Antique, but certainly displaying the skills to push them over the line when dispersing into the musical yonder, should its players have so decided. (And some of them, I believe, did.)

Go Poetry! somewhat shortshrifts the bass with its production, but its underlying groove is still there, giving some meat to the airy, clean tones of the guitar, which maths its way between pluckings and strummings a la Up On In, with frequent breaks for some good ol’ distorted heft – The Feud‘s sense of forward momentum comes to mind. The percussion stands out throughout, looping through more loose-limbed, jazzy playing or kicking in to support the rock.

CA might not be the first band that comes to mind when you’re ticking off your collection of instrumental rock, but they’re also not one to be wholly passed over just for sounding somewhat generic: Go Poetry! is wholly pleasant and successful, working within established confines, and is sprightly and unique enough to not just remind you of something else when digging its seven, punchy tracks.