Published on April 7th, 2018

CHEW by Nick Bach

Psychedelic versatility. Lysergic elasticity. Of all the music genres; psych rock has an edge over jazz and jam that invites an even greater array of experimentation — there’s virtually no roof to it. Looking back on classic outfits like Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies, pioneering invitees of disparate muses and influences, it’s easy to see how psych has been a tabula rasa of sorts all along.

There are very few bands today exploring the vast galaxy of psych the way Atlanta’s CHEW is. “I think that psych has been coming back to many people’s taste slowly over the years,” bassist Brandon Pittman tells PureHoney. “It’s a very expressive and quite expansive genre that is full of room for exploration. We had been dabbling with the genre before we started, but since then have really honed into our own niche style of the genre.” So far, the band has driven into areas of ambience, progressive, electronica, funk and even hip-hop.

The trio, rounded out in rhythm by drummer Sarah Wilson and guitarist/electronics manipulator Brett Reagan, has been etching its stamp on the genre with acidic precision. In three-ish years they have released a short but fully-realized cassette, “3D EP,” and a debut full-length, “A Fine Accoutrement,” which dropped last Fall. The maturing between is evident and exciting; taking the initial pop elements into complex areas that Wilson describes to PureHoney as “moodier, brooding, edgier.”

I really wanted to explore more electronic sounds with this project,” says Reagan. “A lot of bands I had previously been in had an angry feel to them. I wanted to approach music much differently with CHEW.” As an experience, CHEW is great on record and phenomenal live; the trio has become oiled in intuitiveness and trust, which means every night, something different can happen.

“When we started,” says Wilson, “we wanted to blend our love of psychedelic and prog and make it our own.” It’s safe to say they have, and will continue to push their parameters in what could be a limitless quest. Don’t sleep on CHEW, for they’re already light years ahead of where you stand.   

CHEW, with Kath Bloom and Ella Herrera, performs April 13 at Voltaire in West Palm Beach. ~ Abel Folgar

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