By Christine Leonard
Grand Hand Records
Ascending from their role as local skatepark punks to that of Canadian psych-rock tastemakers, Calgary’s legendary curb-grinding garage band Chron Goblin isn’t the same old thrash ‘n’ grab outfit they once were.
Here Before, marks a deliberate recalibration from the hard-rolling crew as they crank the production values to eleven on volatile numbers like “Giving in to Fun,” “Slipping Under,” and “Out of My Mind.”
Singer Josh Sandulak’s raucous vocals and poetic lyrics are thrust into the spotlight as never before and his confident, yet bitter, mouthfuls come washed down with an unerring supply of acidic guitar riffs and dexterous rhythms. Haunted by a shared history and infectious back catalogue, the group navigates a jagged path through the dank underbrush on “Oblivion” before diving into the lazy river of the lumbering “Giant.”
Intricate, intentional and gritty to the bone, Here Before challenges the maturing quartet to supersede their former selves with dangerously divergent compositions; including eerie banshee ballad “Ghost” and pugnacious ripper “War.” The defining wallet-chain swagger, bluesy breakdowns and ballsy bravado that set them apart from day one may remain the same, but Chron Goblin’s best just got a whole lot better.
Best Track – GiantChron Goblin