The drum kit is sentient and coated in tin foil, its human overseers gaunt and warped from light years of ST37 abuse. These two jumpsuited mutants go by the earth-names Damon Edge and Helios Creed and their clingfilm (Saran wrap) skin is pallid from sunlight estrangement. While Punk was pissing and whinging about the inequity of modern life, Chrome were taking the same musical aesthetics and shaping it into a future we were expecting after the promise of late 60s space exploration and the ensuing Universe of cautionary and allegorical Sci Fi, courtesy of some of the period’s drugs of choice.
Starting life as a backing band for an experimental sex show in San Francisco, which is where this debut album ‘Alien Soundtracks’ started life under the title ‘Ultra Soundtrack’ ( that sexy Sorayama robot airbrushed onto every other fairground ride throughout the 80s and 90s? Totally Chrome – ‘Slip it to the Android‘), Chrome never really fit in anywhere, so much so that even after intermittent reappraisals they still exist off the radar of many a muso; so ahead, yet distinctly of their time that they sound as though they jumped the rails and released these records in a parallel Universe. This album’s ‘Nova Feedback‘ will forever serve me as a should’ve been soundtrack for the vistas of zombie populated Mall parking lots from Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’.
From their frenetic beginnings on ‘Alien Soundtracks’ and ‘Half Machine Lip Moves’, Chrome formulated some groundbreaking and nuanced electronic rock albums such as 1980s incredible ‘Red Exposure‘ and its more formulaic but unjustly maligned follow up ‘Blood On The Moon’.
Chrome are decidedly sui generis, and aptly enough petered out in France where they were only just about appreciated. After returning to the States, the band’s architect Damon Edge died of heart failure in Redondo beach, after having begun to reopen lines of communication with guitarist and serial UFO witness Creed, where talk of a reunion sadly came to nothing. Creed is currently carrying the baton and touring in Europe.
Joe? Grez us with your presence…
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Chester Whelks is a peripheral figure on the fringes of existence. Predominantly bothering the local music scene of his native Manchester, England, he has a very finely attuned Justice-button, and knows how to call a spade a ‘Multi-Purpose Murder/Concealment Device’.