After the demise of The Nils in 1994, Alex Soria tried to make a comeback on the solo/acoustic circuit. He didn't like it.
Four years later, he hooked up with Nils friend Eric Kearns and other members of fellow-Montreal band, Grain Elevator Number 5 for various jam sessions. These encounters eventually led to Soria writing new songs and taking over the job of vocals.
This new collective would be named Chino, though I don't know why. Nonetheless, the newly-christened Chino released a six-song CD EP entitled Mala Leche (Spanish: "Bad Milk") in 1999. They play with Nada Surf, Mike Watt, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among others. Although they never really toured much, they still managed to play gigs in Montreal and Toronto, also playing dates in Quebec City, New York, Boston and Ottawa.
Building upon the sounds of Soria's original band, The Nils, Chino adds other instruments -- namely mandoling and keyboards -- which, rather than detracting, add to the quality of the songs.
And just like The Nils, you do hear elements of Hüsker Dü, The Replacements and old-school Soul Asylum.
But unfortunately, Chino never achieved the level of fame Alex Soria hoped for. Read my post about The Nils to find out how that turned out.
In all honesty, I actually prefer The Nils, but this is an example of where Soria might have taken his muse.
Chino - Mala Leche (1999):
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