Under Review

Chung Antique

Sweater Weather   (20 Sided Records)

Review by Fraser Dobbs


 
Chung Antique is guitar rock for rainy days and winter evenings. The trio may be from Seattle, but Sweater Weather, recorded here in Vancouver, takes the best of Cascadia and transforms it into a seriously excellent math rock album.

Following after two lo-fi EPs, now over three years old, Sweater Weather is a refreshing update on Chung Antique’s core sounds and ideas. Cute song titles like “Stop Making Synths” and “Siskiyou and I” are good introductions to tracks that aim to mellow rather than to alarm — even when guitarist Charlie Zaillian’s tone shifts from technical precision to roaring, overdriven arpeggios.

The beautiful strength in Chung Antique’s mathy, almost prog-influenced song structures come from excellent self-control and moderation: no two tracks on the six-song album ever threaten to make tired or obvious choices, and for a band with no lyrics, that’s exceptionally rare to see.

The two tracks held over from their previous EPs — “Room with a Door” and “Bagel Blue Eyes” — have gotten a beautiful and glorious glazing of recording-room perfection. Chung Antique’s pitch-perfect compositions have had a wonderful helping of audiophile-quality bliss layered on top, with sharp drums and thick, mega-technical bass tones punching through the mix alongside fantastically warm, fuzz-coated guitar noodling.

Don’t come into Sweater Weather expecting an overwhelming urge to dance, but sitting down with it between a comfy couch and a pair of headphones might just be one of your winter highlights.