A little over 2,5 years since their introduction to our pages here on IDIOTEQ, Denver’s sludgy hardcore band CHEW THRU are back with their new record, a 7-track, thick riffed EP called “Baby Birds”, and to celebrate, we have teamed up to give a special track by track rundown, as well as an inspiring story of their vocalist’s struggles with health issues that we all can learn from.
“Time keeps ticking on and we just get older. For some reason as we move forward, our music just gets faster and more intense.” – comments the band’s vocalist Matt Lamoureaux.
“In order to keep our strength and stamina up, we must exercise and eat right – especially when battling unexpected health set backs that come with growing older. Shit, in the past few years we’ve been thru the ringer with hernia surgeries, kidney stones, a bowel surgery, Covid and more.”
“Personally, I’ve been fighting high blood pressure since my late 20’s (I’m 45 now).” – revelas Matt.
“It’s always been an enigma to doctors and I’m part of a 1% of people they just have no idea why it’s high. None of the specialists ever have an answer, and I’ve tried all the home remedies, etc. I’m not over weight, I eat right and exercise but it never seems to matter. As I get older, it’s just gotten worse, and at one point I had to take 6 prescription pills a day to keep it down.”
“Now that I sing for Chew Thru, I have to keep myself up to maximum capacity at all times or I just can’t hang with the band. I exercise more than ever, eat better, and get more sleep. This has brought my pressure down to a regulated level, and I was able to cut out 4 of those 6 pills. I feel stronger and I have more energy, and I owe it all to this band – my fountain of youth (crew).”
Words by vocalist / lyricist Matt Lamoureaux
1. Super evolution – This may be the first song we ever wrote. The original idea for the band’s direction was to be motivational hardcore, and this one sums that up. You can’t sit around waiting for your dreams to fall onto your lap – you must act! This takes constant movement towards goals. Envision what you want. Focus on it and be a machete that chops right thru all barriers that may get in the way.
2. Half Life – Pulled from an actual dream – sometimes the dark thoughts overpower. You’re floating in the clouds but get sucked down into a tar pit, which is the world of death and nothingness. It’s some kind of purgatory, and you’re somewhere in between the light and the blackness that pulls you further in. If you focus on the sky, you can hover between the realms. You’ve got to concentrate on positive mantras. It’s basically about mortality. We all die at some point, and it’s important to be prepared. But if you want to be happy, you have to focus on the light (no matter how little there may be) or the black hole will suck you in forever.
3. Baby Birds – Tom came thru with this powerful, mid-tempo song on guitar that immediately gave me an idea. After going to many punk and hardcore shows, I began envisioning the singer as a father bird, feeding all the babies with words. Spitting into the mic and putting words in their mouths. Giving all these babies a foundation of “nutrients” to grow on – a cause and a fight. Most of us in the band are fathers, so the double meaning felt important to convey.
4. God Is The Devil – From the point of view of me when I was 15, learning that some very close elder family members were molested by a Catholic priest. I was raised Christian, but that fact alone sparked such a deep hatred inside. It spread as I opened my eyes thru books, music and research – realizing it’s all a lie based on control. Quickly I denounced it, and the reasons were infinite. Start with the cross – the icon for Christianity is a fucking torture device!
5. Drug The Bull – Insomnia. Kind of an exaggeration of myself years back, burning the candle at both ends. Trying to accomplish as much as possible everyday with as little sleep as possible. Using drinking and other things to dumb myself down and shut my mind off, but eventually finding this pattern to be very self-destructive. Nothing I was creating felt complete, like an author who wrote a novel but lost the last chapter. This is the first time I’ve ever quoted someone else – “sleep is the cousin of death,” – Thomas Sackville in 1560 (no, Nas didn’t say it first).
6. Justified Blind – This song and the next (Sonar) were the first Chew Thru songs written by our bass player, Matt Rinehart. Although very different musically, they are intended to go together. I based the lyrical content on an idea of a man who went blind, but using it to his advantage as his other senses grew superhuman. This one strays away from our normal hardcore sound and explores a slow, airy and doomy territory. Tom’s guitar and Bill’s drums lock it in as one of our own.
7. Sonar – Still on the blind man theme, this one goes into yet another new territory for us. It’s got the hardcore/punk speed and intensity of most of our songs, but in a 6/8 time signature. The outro is the perfect ending to this album for us. Take it all in and be thankful for it all, no matter how damaged you may be. Focus only on strength. Now I see.