Chyna's music is a cross between melodic heavy metal (like Iron Maiden) and fiery hard rock (Van Halen). The vocalist's voice reminds me of Bono, and the guitar processing also has some semblance to what the Edge does. But Chyna do have a reasonably unique sound. Their songs are very catchy and the lyrics are intelligent. The guitars and drums pack a great punch and the vocals (which sound like there a group of people singing at once) blend in very well with the music. I really like their stuff. This is one band to keep an eye out for in the future.
This is Chyna's first release, and they've managed to produce a record that vitalises the rock sound a lot. They do this mainly by layering the songs with many melodies from different instruments. The production on this album isn't the best---the cymbals are a bit loud in the mix, and the bass drum sounds muffled, but the bass guitar (Tommy Hunter) with some attention-capturing drumming (Steve Zing) makes up for it. The keyboard melodies are harmonious and rich in sound texture. The guitars and keyboards really work well together in a neo-classical style, making for a full, lush sound. The vocals (most of the members) are powerful and stand out clearly, complementing the rest of the instruments. The saxophone (Mike Herman) provides an interesting additional layer of sound. Chyna are a great mix of art rock and metal, with the sound falling squarely in-between. This album is a consistent set of catchy tunes that rock hard, and this is a band definitely worth checking out if you're getting tired of the three-chord songs on the radio today. This is one of those albums where you need to listen again and again in order to explore all its intricacies, and each time I listen to it, I find something new and interesting in the music!
One thing you can say with definite assurance about Chyna is that they are extremely prolific and consistent. The songs pack the same punch found in favourites such as In the Night and have the same symphonic feel to them. The drumming stands out more than ever, but the music is toned down a bit and the production is more slick---in fact, this EP might appeal to more people than the previous Chyna releases. In terms of quality of production, songwriting, and performance, this is the best I've heard from them thusfar. If you heard In the Night and couldn't get enough to Chyna, this is definitely worth checking out.
Of all the underground/independent bands I've reviewed, Chyna is one of the most prolific. This release (the fourth I've reviewed, their second full-length album), like with all their releases, tries to do something new and different. This time, the band has moved from a progressive rock sound to a more hard rock/metal sound. The change is positive. It seems to me that most new music today lacks strong melodies, guitar riffs, keyboards, and strong vocals. Frankly, if you're like me, you're beginning to tire of the nasal angst-ridden vocals so prevalent in today's so-called "alternative" music. Chyna's self-titled full-length release offers a pleasant change for those who are looking for something new: great harmonies and vocal melodies, amazing guitar solos and riffs, and tight drumming and bass work. Overall, I'd say this is a fine progression from their first full-length album (In the Night), and really shows how the band has evolved over time. The production is also excellent: the guitars have a great tone, and the blending of the keyboards, vocals, and the rhythm section is just perfect. Already I feel that this album will be strong contender for one of the best albums of 1998.