C.H.E.W. - Demo 7"
Frankly-speaking, it was really only a matter of time before this band’s demo was given the wax treatment. C.H.E.W. (formally known as Chew, and before you ask, no, the acronym doesn’t stand for anything) has quickly proven themselves to be one of Chicago’s crowning hardcore acts, even when this seven-track demo – originally released in March of 2016 – is the sole exposition of this group’s distinctive, menacing grooves; and that’s just tragic. In a subgenre so easily inundated with rehashed, recycled, ultimately repetitious riffs and breakdowns, bands like C.H.E.W. help breathe new life into a subcategory otherwise left to be scoffed at, be it through genuinely brilliant, genre-bending songwriting, or compacting every ounce of the members’ passion into a discordant, unconventional hardcore performance that’s nothing short of stunning, banshee-like vocals, searing riffs, abusive drumbeats and all. C.H.E.W. truly is a band you have to listen to believe, a near hallmark of today’s take on the genre – one of those seems to pop up every other week, but the praise doesn’t seem any more warranted than it does for these freaks.