Chow Chow Colours and Lines

Based out of London, England, Chow Chow were on the rise after signing a deal with notable indie label Fantastic Plastic. Sadly, the future of this English/Canadian trio ended abruptly this past June when vocalist Iain Smith died from a heart attack at the age of 26. Colours and Lines is their final document, a mini-album that demonstrates the potential this vigorous indie outfit had in their brief time together. Ambitious is the word best suited for their attitude, as the threesome tackled their music with a variety of influences, ranging from post-punk fervour to pedal-driven ’90s alt-rock to the latest synth-pounding dance rock. "Metallica (Early)” eschews the title’s obvious suggestion for noisy experimental jamming that’s in line more with something like "Sonic Youth (Mid-period)” or "Broken Social Scene (Present).” "Dear Francis,” on the other hand, feels like an open letter to the Pixies, pinching a flavourful Joey Santiago guitar lick. Chow Chow saved their most radical statement for closer "Sit Down Synth” though; it’s a droning, repetitive racket that demonstrated Smith’s natural gift for fronting a band, showcasing his magnetism for bellowing uncontrollably, yet with plenty of charisma. Colours and Lines isn’t exactly perfect in its sloppy approach; "Skeleton With Hair” and "Candi” show they weren’t exactly adept at using electronics, which makes the album middling instead of magnificent. (Fantastic Plastic)