Anyway, I'm saying classic, right up until Helios left, at which point I have no idea because everyone else says Helios-less Chrome is shit and I can't find any of it anyway.
― Jay Macke (Jay), Sunday, 8 September 2002 12:28 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Paul (scifisoul), Sunday, 8 September 2002 12:34 (10 years ago) Permalink
Save yourself, especially your ears the trouble. It's no good without Creed. The Chrome Box is a bargan
― brg30 (brg30), Sunday, 8 September 2002 16:14 (10 years ago) Permalink
― jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 8 September 2002 20:10 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Andrew Thames, Monday, 9 September 2002 05:24 (10 years ago) Permalink
― maryann, Monday, 9 September 2002 09:22 (10 years ago) Permalink
Alien SoundtracksRead only memoryHalf machine lip movesRed exposure (maybe their most accessible?)Blood on the moonInworldsChronicles 1&2A few tracks on subterr. modern
I dont find he 3rd from the sun alb very interesting....
My favourite Chrome rel is probably the read only memory mini lp.
― Tobias, Monday, 9 September 2002 11:51 (10 years ago) Permalink
― threemetalinsects (threemetalinsects), Tuesday, 10 September 2002 05:28 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Kris (aqueduct), Tuesday, 10 September 2002 05:34 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:26 (8 years ago) Permalink
3rd from the Sun, the vocals start to bug at this point and it's not as fucked as earlier, but yeah, the guitars & the basic sound still miles ahead.
Chrome Box out of print, but Anthology 1979-1983 is still in print and has all the tracks from the Subterranean Modern compilation... Half Machine / Alien Soundtracks still the one place to start though. they're much more than just a cult band, their time's still to come
― milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:46 (8 years ago) Permalink
In 1976, Damon Edge and Gary Spain formed Chrome in San Francisco. According to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, the line-up for the recording of The Visitation consisted of John Lambdin (vocals, guitar, bass), Gary Spain (vocals, guitar, bass), Mike Low (guitar, synthesizer, bass) and Damon Edge (guitar,synthesizer, drums). John was the only one with any "experience" having performed with the Flower Travellin' Band, an early '70s Japanese psychedelic group.
After recording Visitation, Mike Low left and auditions were held to fill the void. Chrome did not like H at first since he showed up to the audition dressed in some kind of pirate outfit. After jamming for some time (hours-weeks?) it was clear to Damon that H was "the one" and he then convinced the other band members.
Helios added something to the group that was missing, and the albums that poured out over the next several years all have a similar "Chrome" sound to them.
John Lambdin disapeared after Alien Soundtracks. It was during this period that Chrome really only consisted of Damon and Helios. Gary Spain was only credited on two of the songs on their next release, Half Machine Lip Moves. In fact, John L. Cyborg, a psuedonym for the drum machine, was created to make it look like there were others in the band.
The recording sessions for Blood on the Moon and 3rd From the Sun included brothers John and Hillary Stench, who had just ended their stint with Pearl Harbor and the Explosions which split up in late '80.
In 1981 a group of Italian fans urged Chrome to come to Italy and perform live. They must have made quite an offer, since Chrome had never performed live for an audience before. After a single practice gig in San Francisco at the Mabuhay Gardens, the show at the Palasport in Bologne on July 20th was the second and last Chrome concert. At least for a while. [ Correction: The Italian show was first, followed by the San Francisco show on August 21st. ]
Apparently, Damon and Helios slowly became estranged over the issue of touring. Helios wanted to go out and do live shows while Damon did not. San Francisco's Chrome came to a grinding halt when Damon moved to Berlin with his girlfriend(?) Fabienne Shine.
While in Europe, Damon released some albums under his own name, and also formed a new Chrome lineup. Damon apparently acquired the legal rights to the Chrome name and recordings. He re-released some of Chrome's earlier recordings, while producing additional material with his new band. The sound of Damon's Berliner Chrome was quite different from the original San Francisco incarnation. Two "live" albums were released durring this time, although it is disputed whether the material was really recorded live.
Meanwhile, Helios Creed formed his own band back in San Francisco. He lived in a modified school bus which was often seen parked on the streets bordering Golden Gate Park. H and his band toured endlessly world wide and had a diverse following (some of whom knew nothing of Chrome). HC hit the college charts and jumped genres between punk-metal-thrash and phych.
Damon Edge died in Los Angeles the summer of 1995 at an early age. The official cause of death was heart failure. Apparently distraught over his break up with Fabiene Shine, Damon had become an obese shut-in, drinking heavily. He lay dead in his apartment for almost a month before being discovered.
Tommy met him once or twice and had few phone conversations. After Damon died, Tommy purchased a bunch of his music equipment from Damon's sister, including his Moog Liberation with the last "real" Chrome set list still taped to the back.
Shortly after Damon's death, Helios decided that he wanted to restore Chrome to it's San Francisco roots. H contacted John and Hillary to do some new recordings as Chrome. The results were released in September '96 on the 3rd Seed from the Bud single.
Meanwhile, in the Spring of 1996, Tommy L. Cyborg (Hawkwind, Farflung) and Nova Cain recorded a song modeled after the original Chrome sound and sent it to Helios on DAT. Helios liked it. He added some vocals and perhaps a bit else, and the song later appeared as Fudge Bunny on Tidal Forces.
Nova Explains: "I of course was always a huge fan, my involvement basically came from my association w/ Tommy. Ihad put out records by Farflung and we became good friends and discovered we were both huge Chrome fans. Tommy was friends w/ Helios, he got Helios to play guitar on the Nik Turner Space Ritual tour, when Helios wanted to do Chrome again he called Tommy, Tommy asked if I could come and played Helios this song we had recorded together. Helios liked it, said sure, we went and recorded. That song incidently is Fudge Bunny."
Tommy and Nova did some additional recording around Thanksgiving of '96. Asked if the material for Retro and Tidal were recorded at the same time, Nova responds:
"More or less, in fact if you listen really closely you can hear some of the same elements in both recordings.You see, when Tommy and I went the first time, H didn't really want to jam together and he had 5 or 6 songs nearly done. So Tommy and I did overdubs on them and then recorded 3 10 minute improv pieces. These sort of became songs on both albums."
December 1997: Buz Deadwax, former guitarist of the bands Seed and Smartyr (which included Aleph Kali on drums and Rodney Horihata on bass) was looking for a gig. He tells this story after meeting up with Galaxy Chamber:
"We didn't jive, but they mentioned that they knew H and that he was looking for a drummer for Chrome. I referred them to Aleph, who called H, who asked Aleph if he knew any bass players and Aleph called me and we freaked out for a while."
"Aleph, Rodney and I are all gigantic Chrome/Creed fans and own close to everything. Just for the fun of it, Rodney and I once lugged a ton of our own equipment to Gillman Street to do sound and vocal effects for a Creed show. At one point between songs, H starting saying something to the audience. We had fucked with the sound so much that he sounded like a mumbling obese dwarf on helium falling down a pit filled with roofing tar. I killed the effects so you could hear what he was saying and he looked up at me and said, "Hey man! Waderya doin?!" so I put the juice back on and he was happy again. I learned my lesson."
"Anyway, after the downers and coffee took hold, Aleph and I started to rehearse ALL the Chrome material (well the GOOD stuff, anyway) since H didn't tell us what songs he wanted to do. So in 4 rehearsals we learned everything and went up to Guernville where we found out we learned everything in the wrong key! NO, Chrome did not "tune down" or mess with the speed of the tapes (except where obvious). We had to talk him into doing "Subway" and a few others but the set came together pretty easily with lots of old stuff."
"H told us that he really wanted to "set the record straight" and regain Chrome's reputation from Damon. The breakup was apparently really bad and I think that neither one ever really got over it. Damon was the introvert-agoraphobic and Helios is the extrovert-claustrophobic so it was doomed to die at some point."
"H, Aleph and I practiced on weekends for a month or so. Tommy and Nova came up from LA and we played for one weekend with the whole band! We then left for the tour."
The tour ran through 19 American cities in March and April 1998. For details see the tour info section and Buz's report from the road.
In Decemer 1998, H contacted the touring group to try to get another record together and possibly another tour. Unfortunately, Buz had prior commitments and could not participate. Rodney Horihata was called in and rehearsed/recorded 13[!] new songs with Aleph. What became of those songs I do not know.
In early 2000 Helios got the itch to tour again and a short tour of the west coast was haphazardly planned and executed. There was little promotion compared to the previous tour and the turnout was poor at all the shows except for San Francisco. Most of the band members ended up subsidizing the tour out of their own pocket.
To be continued...
From the 'official' chrome site:http://www.staticwhitesound.com/chrome/history.htm
― Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:50 (8 years ago) Permalink
― mullygrubbr (bulbs), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:52 (8 years ago) Permalink
Was looking through my rekkids at the weekend and pulled out the sleeve for Half Machine. Love the way they've created that strange vision of the future with so little resources. Had never really noticed that gangster movie going on in that shot before.
Any of those Creed solo recs any good?
― NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:54 (8 years ago) Permalink
― NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:56 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:56 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 08:59 (8 years ago) Permalink
John was the only one with any "experience" having performed with the Flower Travellin' Band, an early '70s Japanese psychedelic group.
let's hear some LOVE for "the visitation," come on!
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:01 (8 years ago) Permalink
― milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:03 (8 years ago) Permalink
― NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:03 (8 years ago) Permalink
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:05 (8 years ago) Permalink
― NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:07 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:09 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:11 (8 years ago) Permalink
― NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:13 (8 years ago) Permalink
― mullygrubbr (bulbs), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:17 (8 years ago) Permalink
Surprised to see no contributions from NYC so far - Alex has just got to love this lot, hasn't he?
― Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:18 (8 years ago) Permalink
wow. what were you listening to at the time?
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:21 (8 years ago) Permalink
but the deal was settled on 'alien soundtracks', total cassette pause cut-up garage faust, about four minutes into 'pygmies in zee dark' where the song hollows out and suddenly it flips into this mutant lurch with a burning braindead guitar riff, and then that's followed up _instantly_ with 'slip it to the android'... it's just fuck yeah
― milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:28 (8 years ago) Permalink
at the time i was probably listening to...parliament? cab.vol?
― mullygrubbr (bulbs), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:32 (8 years ago) Permalink
throwing 'slip it to the android' on your mix CD
― milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 09:38 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Trip Maker (Sean Witzman), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 15:37 (8 years ago) Permalink
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 15:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Trip Maker (Sean Witzman), Tuesday, 8 March 2005 16:08 (8 years ago) Permalink
Anyway, Half Machine Lip Moves & Alien Soundtracks totally classic. 3rd from the Sun isn't quite up there but I've enjoyed it so far.
Maybe I'll go look for Helios Creed stuff on Slsk later, never heard any.
― Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 16:55 (8 years ago) Permalink
this is based solely on half machine lip moves/alien sdtrks. is this 3rd from the sun album worth it?
― peter smith (plsmith), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 17:13 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 17:14 (8 years ago) Permalink
― chuck, Wednesday, 9 March 2005 17:28 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 17:29 (8 years ago) Permalink
Hey, I used to own that Skin Yard debut on C/Z! It was during that brief post-Bleach/pre-Nevermind period when I bought just about ANYTHING Sub Pop-related. But I didn't play the Skin Yard much and eventually sold it. Then I found the CD used and reacquired it, only to find that the instrumental cut (my favourite) was now minus the saxophone track - WTF?!
Oh, and CLASSIC, obviously! Alien Soundtracks/Half Machine Lip Moves is truly fucked up.
― Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 18:32 (8 years ago) Permalink
Or, did I misunderstand? ;)
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 9 March 2005 18:59 (8 years ago) Permalink
ILM patrons may be interested to know that David Tibet wants your Chrome rarities NOW - see the Durtro site for details.
― Soukesian, Wednesday, 9 March 2005 19:19 (8 years ago) Permalink
ugh. wish i could just post my whim of the day on a website and have people send me cds and lps by the ton.
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Thursday, 10 March 2005 00:52 (8 years ago) Permalink
hahahaha. i first heard helios thru the amrep label, and the record i owned had singing along the lines of the above description. had a very "wtf?" vibe to it.
― eman (eman), Thursday, 10 March 2005 05:13 (8 years ago) Permalink
― A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Thursday, 10 March 2005 06:06 (8 years ago) Permalink
― A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Thursday, 10 March 2005 06:07 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Thursday, 10 March 2005 07:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
― mullygrubbr (bulbs), Thursday, 10 March 2005 08:03 (8 years ago) Permalink
The first disc (best of) starts out with five great cuts from HMLM, but they are edited terribly. They add "Danger Zone" from the 12" single (1981); "Isolation" from Red Exposure; "The Need" and "Brain Scan" from Blood on the Moon; "Shadows of a Thousand Years" and "Future Ghosts" from 3rd from the Sun; plus "Gehenna Lion" and the great single "Anorexic Sacrifice".
As far as The Visitation, I am still fond of the phaser-drenched instrumental waltz, "Nova Feedback". But Alien Soundtracks was a HUGE step forward... or s'ways.
If you were listening to Cabaret Voltaire back then, you could have put "Nag Nag Nag" on a mix tape with Half Machine Lip Moves!
― Jon Hope (jarge), Thursday, 10 March 2005 18:05 (8 years ago) Permalink
I think the songs on the Visitation were initially recorded as a porno movie soundtrack (no joke!)
― Jon Hope (jarge), Thursday, 10 March 2005 18:35 (8 years ago) Permalink
hmm I thought the others were on Noiseville? with the buttons and patches? I could be wrong. Those do sound great.
― sleeve, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:22 (4 years ago) Permalink
The vinyls are mysterious. Matrix #s look like they're from teh Siren pressings. Noiseville did the CDs, dunno who did the wax. Thought it was Cleo.
― Calling All Creeps! (contenderizer), Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:33 (4 years ago) Permalink
ahhh, thanks. that IS weird.
― sleeve, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:36 (4 years ago) Permalink
I saw the Cleopatra CDs of 'Red Exposure' & 'Retro Transmission' at Amoeba. Back covers on both looked so low effort, same cheap font just containing the titles, and the spines of both of them read 'Chrome - Retro Transmission' -- mr. Illustrator guy forgot to change the spine title before sending it off to the factory. Out of fear for how bad the rest of it would be, I ended up springing for that Harmonia Deluxe CD reissue on Lilith, with extra pictures / Tietchens liners / etc
Too bad Cleopatra did this one, 'Red Exposure' is their most accessible / catchiest (but still completely fucked) album, I hope the reissue occasions reviews at least
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:55 (4 years ago) Permalink
wait waht is Retro Transmission?
― sleeve, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:57 (4 years ago) Permalink
I'll still buy it if someone reps for the mastering
xpost 2002 Creed reformation album (had to google to find that out myself, the packaging says nothing) - never heard it, amazon reviewers say it's fair
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 22:59 (4 years ago) Permalink
ah, ok, thanks but I will probably pass. OTM about mastering being the key issue here.
― sleeve, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 23:01 (4 years ago) Permalink
red exposure sounds fine on cd. yeah, it looks like shit, but it sounds good to me - granted i haven't heard the original in a long time.
but it doesn't sounds like it comes off of a cassette or anything.
― stuffy old songs about the buttocks (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 8 January 2009 01:56 (4 years ago) Permalink
"Blood on the moon" is out (with sort of bonus tracks too).
The reissues sound okay.As pointed out above, in pure Cleopatra style there are ridicolous mistakes here and there, but at least the albums are available.
― Marco Damiani, Thursday, 8 January 2009 08:38 (4 years ago) Permalink
am in the mood for chrome ...at the office. how long before management 'have a word' about the racket, do you think??
― S.P. Rube (haitch), Tuesday, 18 August 2009 01:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
Listening to Half Machine Lip Moves tonight.
Also, many xposts & time gone by now, so here's the Eno cover "Here Come The Warm Jets" which is great.http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SC55VD6U
― van smack, Saturday, 12 June 2010 05:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
Hey Chrome experts. I want to buy a copy of Half Machine Lip Moves since I love this album and I only have a CD-R some friend gave to me. But I was wondering what format and edition is the best purchase in terms of audio quality and presentation, the Noiseville CD or the Cleoplatra LP?
Hope that you can help me.
― Gerry, Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:28 (2 years ago) Permalink
The two-fer with Half Machine Lip Moves + Alien Soundtracks released on Touch N Go has always done the trick for me...
― ilxor has truly been got at and become an ILXor (ilxor), Thursday, 24 June 2010 14:45 (2 years ago) Permalink
The Noiseville reprints of Chrome are fine. I had a Cleopatra best of -- as well as the 'remake' of the Chrome box. Both were similarly fine. Six of one/half dozen of the other, depends on taste at the moment.
― Gorge, Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
can't go wrong with the noiseville ones, at least they cared
― (e_3) (Edward III), Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:03 (2 years ago) Permalink
Heads up:just soze ye nose:the Lilith records "Blood on the Moon" LP w/complementary CD version reissue is a shambles. The packaging is sweet but when we get to what really matters it's cobbled together from (mostly)live versions of the BOTM tracks (from the "Live in Bologna" LP, I'm guessing) - the whole thing is presented as a verbatim reissue and isn't - which I'm guessing is why I was able to pick it up cheap - could be for some other entirely disconnected reason, though. The live tracks just do not have that corkscrewing mania we need from chrome. Lilith is a turd.
― iglu ferrignu, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
yeah they suck, fuck them and their overpriced bootlegs.
― sleeve, Wednesday, 6 April 2011 21:53 (2 years ago) Permalink
Wow, that's fucked up. Good to know.
― GLOWER METAL (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 22:19 (2 years ago) Permalink
Chrome with Helios Creed = Classic.Damon Edge solo + non-Creed Chrome = Dud.
Classic understates how much I love Chrome, incidentally. Amazing band, one of my favorites.
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 6 April 2011 22:22 (2 years ago) Permalink
Crome Box in black of night, by cathode ray light
― Ask The Answer Man (sexyDancer), Sunday, 3 June 2012 10:37 (11 months ago) Permalink
Spent last night listening to a bunch of Chrome stuff cuz it'd been while. Still love Alien Soundtracks and most of Half Machine Lip Moves, but I'm on the fence about the rest. As a result, I was quite surprised to see the AMG ratings, which treat their albums with Helios Creed (even the semi-shitty odds 'n' sods comps) as more or less equivalent in quality.
Tastes differ and all, but it's hard not see a substantial drop in inspiration and invention from those first two albums with Creed to Red Medicine, which is texturally interesting but constrained and repetitive in comparison to the wild-ass space monster tape-splicing shit that made their reputation. The drop from there to Blood On the Moon is still more obviously catastrophic. It sounds like the work of the band that cut Red Medicine, but shorn of their experimental inclinations and given to a rather hokey theatricality. They keep recycling the same limp riffs and rhythms as though they were pop songs, and they just aren't. It's got moments, especially if you're into the sound, but they're occasional at at best and tend to drag on way too long.
The most offensive thing, to me, is that 3rd From the Sun, the band's sixth album (fifth with Creed), is held a notch above anything else they did. I'll happily grant that it's better than Blood On the Moon, but not by a massive margin, and I honestly can't understand why anyone would single it out as their finest hour, ranking it above even Alien Soundtracks. Shit is bananas.
The Visitation (1976) - ★★½Alien Soundtracks (1978) - ★★★★★Half-Machine Lip Moves (1979) - ★★★★Red Exposure (1980) - ★★½Blood On the Moon (1981) - ★★3rd From the Sun (1982) - ★★★
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 18:32 (9 months ago) Permalink
Okay, hold up. I'm being way too hard on Blood On the Moon. It's at least energetic, and the problem isn't that the riffs are "limp" (they're pretty great, actually), but that they're similar, and the tempos are similar, and there isn't really anything to the songs but the riffs. As a result, it gets tiresome fast. Taken in isolation, most of its tracks sound pretty damn good. 3rd From the Sun, otoh, sounds like a band running out of gas and not really caring.
So I guess I didn't score them "correctly" after all. Probably should have snatched a star back from 3rd From the Sun and given it to Blood On the Moon.
Anyway, it's weird how those three late albums each seem to isolate an aspect of the early Edge/Creed sound, reducing it to a recognizable style. Red Exposure concentrates on dystopian sci-fi soundscapes, Blood On the Moon pushes protopunk riff slinging, and 3rd From the Sun groans out the dirgey spacerock. Maybe what I miss is the unpredictable, irreducible manner in which Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves combine all those things.
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 19:41 (9 months ago) Permalink
The Visitation is weird. I'm new to it, having listened for the first time only last night, so I'm not yet sure what to think. It sounds like an embryonic hybrid of the harsh, blazed, sci-fi weirdness of Alien Soundtracks and some faceless West Coast psych band of the era. Which I suppose it is, but I think I like it. It's sort of the anti-Blood On the Moon, all loose, meandering and organic. Drags in the middle, but the opening and closing acts are pretty entertaining.
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 20:18 (9 months ago) Permalink
It was my first Chrome record, found an original with a lyric insert.I'll always love it, but it is a different beast.
― Trip Maker, Friday, 3 August 2012 20:39 (9 months ago) Permalink
wow, shit, i've never even seen a copy
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 21:06 (9 months ago) Permalink
I like The Visitation. Production not fully crazed yet, but nowhere near normal, and some good songs. Sounds like a really bent early 70's southern / country hard rock band, way closer to James Gang than Hawkwind.
Read Only Memory is also up there with the best, but I don't know anyone who doesn't put AS/HMLM at the top, but I think Red Exposure has moments, they were obviously intentionally going for something more straightforward and better produced, which I always thought they completely nailed with their two pop songs for the Subterranean Modern compilation; clean but weird.
My offhanded what-do-I-know guess is that when they moved to (slightly) higher fidelity recording on the later records, they lost their workflow which allowed them to splice the flow of the album together out of fragments. AS/HMLM sound like they were painstakingly edited together & compositionally mastered at home on really cheap equipment; the later records ones have more low end, and sound professionally mastered in the studio, on the clock, but those 4-7 minute songs lack all those bizarre left-turn edits & details. But even reading your post slagging them off makes me want to go back and check them out again, there are moments.
― Milton Parker, Friday, 3 August 2012 21:18 (9 months ago) Permalink
As a result, I was quite surprised to see the AMG ratings
The reviewer might or might not have had final say on some of those ratings, I believe.
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 3 August 2012 21:21 (9 months ago) Permalink
i dig the later edge/creed stuff, but I"m a sucker for their goofy psychedelic sci-fi doomsday cult sound. not as creative as alien soundtracks, etc., but it's an aesthetic not many have mastered ... or gone near ... or really exists outside of chrome. so it's like a nice little treat once in a while.
― Spectrum, Friday, 3 August 2012 21:25 (9 months ago) Permalink
they were obviously intentionally going for something more straightforward and better produced, which I always thought they completely nailed with their two pop songs for the Subterranean Modern compilation; clean but weird.
yeah, otm, those two are great. so are both songs on the inworlds 12" ("danger zone" and "in a dream") and stray tracks off the last three albums: "the need", "insect human", "eyes on mars" and "firebomb", among others. would love to hear a good remaster of 3rd From the Sun, which though it's relatively well recorded, really gets lost in the murk.
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 21:27 (9 months ago) Permalink
lol, just opened all the 3rd from the sun tracks in audacity, dropped the volume, boosted the midrange (esp towards the top), and then compressed them a bit for uniformity. sounds a lot sharper.
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 22:19 (9 months ago) Permalink
LFW. i guess i want chrome to hurt my ears.
― contenderizer, Friday, 3 August 2012 22:39 (9 months ago) Permalink
i listened to the visitation again this afternoon, and i think i'm starting to fall in love. was way premature in scoring it so low. might like it as much as half machine, but will have to wait and see.
tbh, i prefer the band when the structures they're operating w/in are a little less rigid than they got circa blood on the moon. i understand that they were probably trying to write "real songs", stuff they could play live, wanting to move beyond pasting together lofi jam snippets. they were also clearly borrowing from the formal rigidity of then ascendant new wave, downplaying the more open-ended 70s sounds they started out with. funny thing is, though, that they never sounded more perfectly and presciently NEW than on their more messily digressive early releases. they sound like band of ranxerox on alien soundtracks and half machine, like this violent, malfunctioning machine leaking sparks, noise and pornography. relative to that kind of insanity, they can't help but come across a little fuddy-duddy in wavo sex-vampire drag.
anyway, i do dig quite a few late period tracks. in addition to the stuff i mentioned earlier, i really love "perfumed metal" and "armageddon".
― contenderizer, Saturday, 4 August 2012 04:44 (9 months ago) Permalink
those are the two tunes that immediately came to mind when I read through your earlier panning of those recs. I think it's all solid, really best to think of them as three different bands - Visitation, the 78-79 period, and the later stuff until Creed left. sure the 78-79 stuff is the visionary breakthrough, but Third From The Sun and the Chronicles albums tower above most other music from that era - and really, is there anything from that time period that even sounds like "Shadows OF 1000 Years"? It only sounds lacking when you compare it to the peak.
― sleeve, Saturday, 4 August 2012 05:43 (9 months ago) Permalink
and really, is there anything from that time period that even sounds like "Shadows OF 1000 Years"? It only sounds lacking when you compare it to the peak.
― sleeve, Friday, August 3, 2012 10:43 PM (Yesterday)
had to think about this for a minute, cuz it isn't one of my go-to favorites. "shadows" really does exemplify the weirdest aspects of the late edge/creed sound. so draggy and fucked up, seemingly from another planet, but dealing pretty straightforwardly with everyday life shit. you know, if you're a down and out borderline drug casualty enduring visions. kind of like PK dick in that regard. love the way the deliberately flat and "dumb" lead vocals contrast with the star trek style backing vox on the chorus.
your point echoes what spectrum said earlier ("I'm a sucker for their goofy psychedelic sci-fi doomsday cult sound. not as creative as alien soundtracks, etc., but it's an aesthetic not many have mastered ... or gone near ... or really exists outside of chrome. so it's like a nice little treat once in a while."), which i can't deny. they've really got the zoned, sepulchral, interplanetary drug weirdo thing nailed down tight.
it's not that i don't like the later edge/creed stuff, which i suggested by rating it so harshly, but that i move from "holy shit, i love this band/album!" to "holy shit i love this song (but not that one so much)." which isn't so terrible, really. i'm more about songs than albums anyway. i'm just as hard on my other big 70s/80s favorites: blue oyster cult, ELO, devo and talking heads.
― contenderizer, Saturday, 4 August 2012 07:45 (9 months ago) Permalink
yeah, i'm sorry if that came across dickish. the reviews themselves are great. it's only the ratings themselves that mystify me.
― contenderizer, Sunday, 5 August 2012 07:09 (9 months ago) Permalink
have been working on a chrome playlist, hopefully something that would fit on 2 CDs, as a primer for friends. had it working it pretty well, but then felt i had to include a few more late period edge/creed tracks and threw the balance off. now part 2 runs 90 minutes instead of 77. ah, well...
Part 1 - The Visitiation, Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves:
How Many Years Too SoonRaiderReturn to ZanzibarSun ControlMy Time to LiveMemory Cords Over the BayChromosome DamageThe MonitorsAll Data LostSS CygniNova FeedbackPygmies in Zee ParkSlip It to the AndroidPharoah ChromiumST 37TV as EyesZombie Warfare (Can't Let You Down)March of the Chrome Police (a Cold Clamey Bombing)You've Been DuplicatedAbstract Nympho
Part 2 - Red Exposure, Blood On the Moon, 3rd From the Sun, etc.:
Anti-FadeMeet You In The SubwayEyes On MarsEyes In The CenterIsolationPerfumed MetalOut of ReachBlood On the MoonDanger ZoneIn A DreamBeacons To The Eye [single version]Anorexic SacrificeOpen Up (Locust Door)Fire BombArmageddonOff The LineShadows of a Thousand YearsWings Born In the Night Gehenna Lion 
skip the struck tracks, and it works just fine.
― contenderizer, Sunday, 5 August 2012 09:06 (9 months ago) Permalink
Really enjoying the posts here and have been listening to the albums this weekend.
i understand that they were probably trying to write "real songs", stuff they could play live
Chrome played a total of two shows.
"Apparently, Damon and Helios slowly became estranged over the issue of touring. Helios wanted to go out and do live shows while Damon did not."
― fit and working again, Sunday, 5 August 2012 15:21 (9 months ago) Permalink
Chrome did not like H at first since he showed up to the audition dressed in some kind of pirate outfit.
― passive-aggressive display name (aldo), Sunday, 5 August 2012 15:54 (9 months ago) Permalink
since i'd spent so much time revisiting chrome, i decided to go back and catch up with helios creed. not everything, as he's put out a ton of stuff over the past quarter century, but at least through the mid 90s. basically his subterranean and amrep albums, most of which i heard at the time of their release, along with a few associated stray tracks.
sadly, it turns out i don't like creed much as a solo artist. he's obviously a gifted guitar player with some strange ideas, but his compositional palette is extremely limited. he's more a jammer than a songwriter. as a result, the musical character of his output is strongly dependent on band chemistry and editorial oversight. when he's working with people who simply follow his lead, he invariably falls into a plodding, overextended, space-noise rut. since he changes bands every year or two (sometimes for every recording session), the quality of his solo work is terribly inconsistent.
1990's boxing the clown is the only helios creed solo album i really love. for one thing, it's concise. many of the songs run only two or three minutes, while most of his other releases are larded with bland riffs stretched out to epic lengths. what's more, the riffs here are genuinely catchy, you get a memorable chorus every once in a while, and the production is fantastic. it's heavy and cavernous but not at all muffled, with clear instrumental separation and lots of detail. it's also the best band creed's ever had, a power trio featuring super-genius ex-scratch acid drummer rey washam and bassist mark duran, who'd been working on and off with creed for at least five years. washam all but steals the show. his drumming is brilliant, frequently the "lead" instrument, and since he co-produced the album (with creed and jonathan burnside), it's tempting to give him at least some credit for its remarkable sound and refreshing brevity. one of the best least-remembered noise rock albums of the era.
beyond that, while there are a handful of songs i enjoy scattered among creed's many solo releases, i haven't yet found any other albums i enjoy all the way through. "the warming" is a decent single from '91. the amrep albums that followed boxing the clown, lactating purple and kiss the brain, are often fondly mentioned by fans, and the latter does feature some kickass (and surprisingly suitable) slap bass from paul kirk, but i only like odd moments here and there. for instance, i love "flying through the either", an uncharacteristically lovely pillow of bright guitars and cloudy synths that shows up early on lactating purple. kiss the brain is a better album, overall, but the only real keepers, afaic, are "mountain mystery", a wierd tale of alien visitation in the sticks (driven by crazy slap bass), and "legs", a hilariously depraved take on the theme made famous by ZZ top ("smell the leather, taste the whip, feel your master start to drip").
the less said about the version of chrome he cobbled together in the late 90s, after the passing of damon edge, the better.
― contenderizer, Monday, 6 August 2012 18:16 (9 months ago) Permalink
X-Rated Fairytales is a great Helios solo album, I dunno I have only listened to a handful of Creed's solo albums. I probably have a longer space-noise tolerance level than most
― Colonel Poo, Monday, 6 August 2012 23:45 (9 months ago) Permalink
yeah, i've tried a number of times with both x-rated fairy tales and superior catholic finger. can't get there, though i do get a chuckle out of the nasal, pervy-weirdo voice he adopts on the title track of the latter (and elsewhere, e.g. "legs").
i dig the noise, the weirdness and especially the guitar mangling, but something about the sense of tune (or jam or whatever) just leaves me cold. maybe it's the songwriting, such as it is, and maybe it's the group chemistry, i can't really say. everytime a track starts up, i'll think, "this sounds GREAT!" ...but a minute or two later, i'm bored and wanting to skip to the next one. same response i have to red exposure and blood on the moon, btw. maybe i'm too much a slave to pop hooks, i dunno. i'm not saying they're bad records, just that i don't grok.
― contenderizer, Tuesday, 7 August 2012 00:47 (9 months ago) Permalink
i get the same feeling with helios creed, some sounds are pretty good but it seems like he's working with a limited songwriting palette. you can hear the same i don't know, parts (wish I knew more about songwriting to explain) as the later Chrome stuff and throughout his catalog. the repetitive ideas make it hard to get into. maybe it was the creed/edge combo that made it all work.
― Spectrum, Tuesday, 7 August 2012 01:20 (9 months ago) Permalink
Helios Creed is doing a Kickstarter-type campaign to put out some unreleased Chrome tracks from the classic '79 to '80 period.
Half Machine from the Sun, The Lost Chrome Tracks from '79-'80
Damon Edge & I made these ‘Lost Chrome Tracks’ during recording sessions for Half Machine Lip Moves & Red Exposure. We had so much material, good tracks went unused. I didn’t even realize the tapes were lost (and sold) due to an unpaid bill! I forgot about them until they were played for me recently, some 30 years later, but listening to the work I was brought right back in time where we had left off. I remembered for instance that I felt ‘Something Rhythmic’ was a special track, maybe even a hit. I guess it wasn’t time to complete these tracks then, because now is their time.
I’m turning to you my fans & asking for your help so I can buy back the material, finish it the way it was meant & then release it to you! We’ve assembled a mind blowing array of art, music & more for this campaign. The ‘Mythology of Helios Creed & Chrome’ modeled illustration poster is incredible, as is the 1980 photograph of Damon & I. So please check out our pledges & do what you can! Purchasing a pledge entitles you to a download of The Lost Chrome Tracks release, plus you’ll have access to exclusive posts, videos & updates here. So come hang out with us on Pledge Music.
I’ve created new music for close to 40 years now. This ‘Lost Chrome Tracks’ release & a new Chrome album I’ve been recording this year, will be my 37th & 38th albums. If we surpass our goals for The Lost Chrome Tracks, I will use pledges towards my rerelease project, the goal of which is to make my entire recorded catalog available. Please also know that a portion of your pledges will be donated to Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund. For pledges made outside of the US international shipping is added to your pricing.
Thank you, Helios Creed
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 26 November 2012 14:02 (5 months ago) Permalink
finally dipped my toes into damon edge's solo chrome. nothing remotely close to helios/edge era, but this song's kinda cool:
― Spectrum, Monday, 10 December 2012 16:15 (5 months ago) Permalink
changed my mind about creed, kiss to the brain's pretty damn good. def satisfies my need for fracked out alien rock.
― Spectrum, Monday, 10 December 2012 16:56 (5 months ago) Permalink
i thought no one liked post-helios chrome?
― Vote in the ILM 70s poll please! (Algerian Goalkeeper), Tuesday, 5 March 2013 23:05 (2 months ago) Permalink
love neds review of the live album
oops i forgot the link http://www.allmusic.com/album/live-in-germany-mw0000898384
― Vote in the ILM 70s poll please! (Algerian Goalkeeper), Wednesday, 6 March 2013 17:14 (2 months ago) Permalink
I don't like much post-Helios Chrome but there's a decent track or two among the skronk-less minefield.
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 6 March 2013 18:01 (2 months ago) Permalink
can't get enough of this band, even 13 years on from discovering them. wish more people made music like 'em.
― Spectrum, Friday, 5 April 2013 13:15 (1 month ago) Permalink