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perjantai 23. toukokuuta 2014

Chrome: Feel It Like a Scientist

King of Spades Records (KofS 402)

 
Chrome started in LA in the mid 70s. Their first album The Visitation came out in ‘76, and after that guitarist Helios Creed joined the band and was featured on the second album Alien Soundtracks (‘77). The main core of Helios Creed and synthesizer player/drummer/singer Damon Edge then made a series of albums being true pioneers of psychedelic, sci-fi themed and spacey acid punk and industrial music. Their collaboration ended in early 80s when Damon Edge moved to France to release solo albums and also more Chrome records with a different line-up. Helios Creed went on a rather successful solo career releasing loads of killer albums in the warped-out Chrome spirit. Their influence has been huge on various music styles like psychedelia, punk rock, new wave, space rock, industrial, experimental music, metal etc. After Damon Edge died in 1995 Helios Creed released a couple of albums as Chrome, and last year saw the release of the amazing double album Half Machine from the Sun that included unreleased, lost recordings from the band’s golden age ’79-’80. The reformed band (featuring Helios Creed on guitar and vocals and for example Tommy Grenas from Farflung on synths) is right now on European tour and their brand-new studio album Feel It Like a Scientist will be released this summer.

The double vinyl album will include 16 new tracks. All the music is by Helios Creed and the band/other friends as well as most of the lyrics, but “Big Brats” has lyrics by the late Damon Edge. Although being over one hour in length, the album is really strong throughout and is just as good as Chrome was in the early daze, so Helios really has done a great job with his space crew. The vocals and heavy guitars are as massively manipulated as ever giving a very out-of-this-world experience. The spacey synthesizer work and punky, in-your-face and tightly rocking rhythm section are also spot-on. The songs are well crafted and after the first amazement you start to notice some pretty clever, catchy melodies as well. Just check the opener “Nephilims (Help Me!)”. The first single track “Prophesy” starts off with some hallucinatory backwards stuff and then we get some heavy and gloomy rocking with dark vocals. Excellent! I feel that Helios Creed has laid down some of his best riffs ever. There are of course some weird, experimental alien pieces like “Lipstick”, the ambient bits “Slave Planet Institution” and “Nymph Droid”. “Big Brats” also has some electronic elements. Some of the tracks are just one to two minutes in length, and the longest piece is the hypnotic instrumental “Cyberchondria” at 7:31. Most tracks are rather up-beat, but “The Mind” is slower downer stuff. I’m sure every Chrome and Helios Creed fan will really enjoy this album! It’s also a good way for the new space cadets to get into the strange and extra-terrestrial world of Chrome, just give it some time and make sure your brain waves are in the suitable length. Chrome is on a long European tour right now so you definitely should also see this radio-active mutant monster alive because they will blow your mind for eternity. I feel so lucky to be able to catch them at Fight the Night II Festival in Helsinki on 14 June…
 
 


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