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"Chylde Comes Of Age"

It’s a sunny, languid Lewiston Tuesday near dusk, and the Niagara Gorge is bathed in a forgiving light.

At Artpark, several thousand people have gathered to drink in the surroundings, sip cold beer and mingle. The evening’s main draw is the punked-up alt-rockabilly trio the Reverend Horton Heat, and the band’s fan contingent – recognizable by its blend of ’50s greaser wear, Brylcreemed hair, and black, biker/ rocker duds –is in evidence. Much of the crowd, though, appears to be comprised of folks who came to Tuesday in the Park simply because admission was free and the weather was friendly, the music merely a bonus soundtrack to an evening of relaxation.

And then the opening band, Chylde, takes the stage.

So much for ignoring the music in favor of chatting with friends.

Chylde plays as if this gig might just be its last, the final chance to make an impression on an uncaring world, to rail against the dying of the light by swinging Thor’s hammer with brutal intent.

These aren’t friendly little pop ditties. This is ferocious, doom-laden, bottom-heavy hard rock –a post-apocalyptic take on the blues as filtered through Black Sabbath’s primal thud and Soundgarden’s possessed banshee wail. It’s music that might peel the paint off walls, or make the neighbors’ lawn die. And it seems to take the audience of (mostly) musical tourists by surprise.

Interestingly, there are contingents among the assembled where Chylde’s music, even if they’ve never actually heard it before, appears to have struck a resonant chord, to have tickled the nerves of familiarity. In these little pockets of mostly males ranging in age from, say, 18 to 50, heads begin to bob in time with the primal beat, hands begin to clutch air-guitars aping the savage pentatonic-based riffs, and a connection is clearly being made.

Yes, Chylde has worked its sinister magic on unsuspecting listeners.

Rite of passage

Getting in your audience’s face is not always a comfortable thing. But sometimes, you’ve just gotta do it.

“When Bob Dylan went electric, he didn’t hold back, and even though there may have been a small fallout from that, he gained more fans in the long run,” says Chylde guitarist Bryce March, one-quarter of a band that’s rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Jon Bobo, bassist Thor Johnson, and drummer Michael Ozimek.

“In fact, none of the artists we idolize ever hold back. We’ve played in front of metal heads and 60-yearolds in lawn chairs at Artpark, hipster artists, and blue-collar bikers, and in the end, it’s all rock and roll. We just want to give it everything we’ve got, and people can relate to that, even if it’s not their style of music.”

It’s the bane of every independent band’s existence: the opening-act gig. One has to fight incredibly hard to get the juicy slots opening bills for national acts. So often, though, you end up wondering why you bothered. Incredibly short set times, a stage space cramped with the headliner’s equipment, no lights to speak of, sometimes dodgy sound in the front of the house, and an often disinterested audience clearly there to see the A-slot band – all of this can add up to a seriously buzz-killing experience for the opener in question.

Yet, the opening act gig is a rite of passage for every band. It’s an experience that separates the wheat from the chaff. Manage to make an impression in a 30-minute time slot, and you’re on your way. Blow the headliner off the stage, and you’ve earned yourself some new fans. Countless rock bands – from the Rolling Stones to Van Halen to Radiohead – built their initial reputations by one-upping groups they were opening for.

This is a lesson Chylde has learned well. In fact, at a recent show in Cambridge, Mass., warming up for buzz band Township, Chylde came awfully close to stealing the show, and so impressed a reviewer from Boston’s Performer Magazine that he dedicated his opening graph to the long-way-from-home Chylde.

“Rarely with a local show does one find oneself blown away by an opener,” opined the Performer critic, before suggesting that Chylde had indeed done exactly that with a set of music “as unpretentious as it gets ... gritty, sludgy pentatonic riff-rock completely devoid of flashiness.”

That last suggestion is telling, for it is indeed the case that the strain of heavy rock Chylde has aligned itself with is one that stands in stark opposition to the over-the-top histrionics and pretty-boy grandstanding favored by the heavy metal lineage rooted in ’80s excess.

By contrast, Chylde – like its brethren in the bands the Sword, Mastodon, Black Mountain and the like – is indulging in a more organic sound, one that is redolent of the salt-of-the-earth environment that presided over its birth. Maybe we could call it the Rust Belt-metal ethic, one that favors a lack of pretension and an earthy solidity over flashy image and musical excess. Whatever it is, it has indeed been there from the beginning. Though Chylde is only a few years old, and is sticking to its story, biography-wise –as if the myth is far more interesting than the reality might be – the band emerged fully formed, its sound, its look and its ferocious stage presence on aggressive display from Day One.

For the record, the official party line regarding Chylde, as proudly displayed on the band’s MySpace page, rather hilariously insists that the band has been 100 years in the making: “A long long time ago, a quartet of boys stumbled upon this beautiful noise while frolicking in the forest. They were immediately overwhelmed by its beauty and hypnotized into a deep slumber. When they awoke, a simultaneous scheme came to the four. And so they each went into their separate quarters to conquer their instruments. They returned as men and masters of their craft. Now, 100 years later, you have an opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring music they have envisioned for so long.”

Wow. How metal is that?

Now it can be told

“I think Chylde is great,” says local concert promoter Donny Kutzbach of Fun Time Presents, who has both booked the band on shows he’s promoted, and gone to see the group as a fan.

“I’m really impressed by their debut record (‘Now It Can Be Told’) and have been listening to it over and over. It’s not only one of the best local records I’ve heard this year, it’s one of the best records, period. It has a painstaking perfection in the production, where it’s obvious the band labored over each note and riff, but it also really has an organic, natural flow.

“As players go, these guys are the real thing. Working with people like [musician/recording engineer/producer] Matt Smith and [producer] Armand Petri also helped to bring out the best in them.”

That organic ensemble playing is certainly the heart of what Chylde does when it’s on stage. It’s also the core of a movement that has been called many things in the media— “stoner-rock,” “psychedelic-metal,” “doom metal,” and more – but is really in essence simply a new generation’s heavy rock, one that builds upon the past and points the way toward the future.

Marked by strong musicianship, a heaving, ominous quality in the rhythm section, tight ensemble passages that employ both unisons and harmonies, and often, startlingly slow tempos that emphasize the heaviness of it all, this new guitar rock has garnered an audience eager for a spacious sound, perhaps in response to the onslaught of claustrophobic, overly compressed and produced-to-death modern rock that has been the norm for the past 15 years.

It is surprising that, since Chylde has only been together for a few years, its sound is as focused, clear-cut and decisive as it is. One might presume that a band as conscious of its collective identity as this one is allows little room for eclecticism. Surely, these guys all grew up on an identical musical diet? Not so, says March.

“There are very few repeats on our collective iTunes,” says the guitarist. “We all love all kinds of music, and we rarely agree. The common thread is one that we are very hard-pressed to come to a conclusion on.

“Maybe ZZ Top’s early work, the Band, Captain Beefheart, and this great, very obscure group called the Want. And some stuff that isn’t necessarily rock and roll, we all have our select bands that aren’t what you’d expect us to listen to, that we filter through our respective playing styles and make our own. Things like classic soul, folk, blues, metal, the new psychedelic indie bands, and on and on.

“We are all very open-minded, if not a little snobbish, about music, and the soundtrack to those loooong van rides is a pretty wonderful and eclectic one.”

Head of the class

In Buffalo, there are currently several excellent bands emblematic of this new strain of guitar rock, among them Handsome Jack, the Found, and to varying degrees, Johnny Nobody and Peanut Brittle Satellite. Chylde sits comfortably at the head of the class. But as is always the case with bands who seem to be on the cusp of a new movement, the group isn’t so much part of the pack as it is an idiosyncratic, delightfully all-its-own tribe of musicians whose whole is more than the sum of its parts.

“Our music is an expression of us as a whole, so naturally, we all write,” says guitarist Bobo, in the process affirming the idea that Chylde is not really a part of any one movement, but simply a product of the imaginations of the participants.

Is Chylde representative of some sort of cultural convergence, as manifested locally?

“Where they stand in the history of Buffalo music, I’m not totally sure,” says Fun Time’s Kutzbach. “But I’m hoping they signal a renaissance. I’m hoping that more bands like them turn up in Buffalo.”

Information on Chylde, including tour dates and music, can be found at


Take one part Blue Cheer’s back-alley blues-metal assault. Add 1970’s “Live Cream,” liberally. Boil Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut, reduce, and add flour – makes its own sauce! Stir Blue Cheer and Cream into Sabbath sauce. Season to taste with all four sides of Humble Pie’s “Rockin’ the Fillmore” LP. Remove any excess shards of black plastic.

Allow to sit and congeal for the better part of a decade. Then shock the stew back to life with the introduction of a chilled “Superunknown” by Soundgarden. (“Bad Motor Finger” may be substituted.)

This may cause the concoction to bubble and froth, a la witch’s brew. If so moved, feel free to add eye of newt and wing of bat, but please, don’t overdo it. This is no joke.

After stirring vigorously for the better part of an hour, while your favorite Kyuss album plays at neighbor-offending volume in the background, sprinkle with Queens of the Stone Age. Employ King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” as garnish. Serve over a plate of ball bearings.

Feed yourself, plus the entirety of the hard rock-loving universe. Enjoy! - Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News

"Best Band"

If your hard rock penchant leans towards the trippy Satanification of the blues mastered by Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, then honey, you best get familiar with Chylde. As I was getting ready to see Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger urinate on their legacy last summer at the Molson Canal Concert Series, this loud, ragged quartet smacked me upside the head in the most super-awesomest way. Chylde’s opening set of psychedelic metal suites made no bones about its Sabbath obsession, while still sounding fresh and relevant. The riffs were chunky, the solos wild, and the overall mood darkly invigorating. - Joe Sweeney, Spree Magazine

"Performer Magazine"

“Rarely with local shows does one find oneself blown away by an opener; it could very well be what makes it so rewarding to arrive early and unexpectedly witness someone who kills it…I speak here of Chylde, an unassuming Buffalo, NY based band who did their thing, and did it damn well. As unpretentious as it gets-all my favorite parts of gritty, sludgy, pentatonic-riff rock completely devoid of flashiness…They truly had their shit together and those of us who arrived early had the pleasure of Chylde rocking our faces off." - Bill Braun, Performer Magazine


Now It Can Be Told
Self Released Full Length
April 2009

Self Released
June 2008



Buffalo, NY is a rusted hull of a city, one subject to endless winters and countless financial set backs. One would think that such a decidedly un-nurturing environment would fail to yield even the slightest crop of creativity, but then, one would be wrong to do so. Amidst the endless nights and fading lights a slight rumble has grown into a mighty roar. Chylde is a band who has set out to fill the void that birthed them with a raucous, unyielding proclamation from a top the rubble heap. Their sound cries, "We are here to celebrate rock and roll, because it is all we have, and it is all that matters!"

From another time, yet completely timeless, Chylde is not some run of the mill retro rock show. These boys don't dial it in, they crank it up and turn it out. Sonorous guitar tones scream and crackle, and then splinter into the deep funk of a rhythm section tighter than the space between tectonic plates. Howling, soulful vocals spurt out like lava and cool into a glassy sheen that reflects the light of the heavens. This is music to move not only and audience's feet, but the the very earth on which they stand.

The Rochester City Paper decrees, "Chylde is relentless in the way (they) pick a riff, gut it, and turn it inside out. The guitar tones were incredible, and the savage drums harkened back to a time when music truly was a mating ritual." Performer Magazine echoes these sentiments, boasting "As unpretentious as it gets-all my favorite parts of gritty, sludgy, pentatonic-riff rock."

Chylde views their music as a release from the chains that drag us all down slowly and surely, and their sole purpose in life is to share their message with as many people as possible, in every way possible. The road never ends for these boys, and that is exactly how they like it.