Post-Punk Visionaries Chrome Embark on US Tour in March to Support Release of 21st Studio Album TECHROMANCY
From the band's formation by the late Damon Edge in 1975, joined by longtime vocalist/guitarist Helios Creed in '77, Chrome has developed a unique methodology within the band, bringing art into sound, splicing in a Sci-Fi collage of sound bites, combining searing rock with noise, weirdness, pile driver rhythms (including scrap metal percussion), heavy rhythm-guitar riffs, effects-laden vocals, psychedelic guitar leads, and mindbending audio manipulations. Known for their experimental, de/re-construction of rock and roll, the seminal post-punk psychedelic outfit will embark on a major US tour this Spring to support their 21st studio album "Techromancy", which was released last year on Cleopatra Records. With driving rhythms and metallic riffs of their more rocking early '80s "Red Exposure" period, the new album, which Creed describes as "a natural progression of the original Chrome idea", is the follow up to their 2014 double studio album "Feel It Like a Scientist".
Starting in Seattle on 3/14, Chrome, featuring Creed, along with rhythm guitarist Lou Minatti, keyboardist Tommy L. Cyborg, bassist Steve Fishman, and drummer Aleph Kali, will cross the country heading to the East Coast in April. On this tour the band will be performing songs from "Techromancy", which was recorded between summer of 2014 and fall of 2016 at Compound Recordings in Santa Cruz and Trash Treasury and Half Machine Studios in Portland, as well as "Feel it Like a Scientist" and 2013's "The Lost Tracks".
You can catch Chrome live here:
3/14 - SEATTLE, WA - HIGHLINE
3.15 - PORTLAND, OR - STAR THEATER
3/16 - SACRAMENTO, CA - BLUE LAMP
3/17 - OAKLAND, CA - METRO OPERAHOUSE
3/18 - LOS ANGELES, CA - ECHOPLEX
3/19 - SAN DIEGO, CA - SODA BAR
3/20 - MESA, AZ - CLUB RED
3/22 - AUSTIN, TX - BARRACUDA
3/23 - HOUSTON, TX - WHITE OAK MUSIC HALL
3/24 - FT. WORTH, TX - RIDGLEA THEATER
3/26 - CHICAGO, IL - REGGIES
3/27 - ROCK ISLAND, IL - ROCK ISLAND BREWING CO.
3/28 - ST. LOUIS, MO - FUBAR
3/29 - KANSAS CITY, MO - RECORD BAR
3/30 - OMAHA, NE - LOOKOUT LOUNGE
3/31 - DENVER, CO - LARIMER LOUNGE
4/1 - SALT LAKE CITY, UT - URBAN LOUNGE
Over the decades, Chrome has influenced a wide range of musical genres as well as generations of bands from the avant-rock of Sonic Youth and the Flaming Lips to industrial rockers like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. Theirs was "a Cyber-Punk vision of the future that came a decade before the term was coined," proclaimed legendary musician Julian Cope.
Here are live videos for the songs "TV As Eyes", from the 1979 album "Half Machine Lip Moves" and "In A Dream" from 1980's "Red Exposure", both filmed at the Grauzone Fest in Den Haag on Chrome's last European tour:
"TV As Eyes" video:
"In A Dream" video:
Created by Edge in 1975, who took inspiration from influences as divergent as proto-Punk pioneers such as The Stooges, to sound art experimentation like the work of John Cage and Allan Kaprow, Chrome released their debut album, "The Visitation" in 1976. Creed joined the band for their 1977 commercial and artistic breakthrough album "Alien Soundtracks", a collage of searing rock with noise, sound-bites, scrap-metal percussion and unusual manipulations of their instruments and amplifiers, but was heavier due to his guitar feedback and Edge's powerful drumming. In the words of "Uncut" Magazine's Jon Dale, "It took guitarist Helios Creed joining up in '76 for Chrome to really find their groove, a coruscating, face-peeling take on rock form that's surprisingly hard to pin down." 1979's "Half Machine Lip Moves" remains an underground classic, and received high praise from the "Wire" magazine that included it in their list "100 Records That Set the World on Fire (While No One Was Listening)."
Signing to the UK's Beggar's Banquet label for their fourth and fifth albums, "Red Exposure" and "Third From The Sun", they also released 5 EP's and singles on various labels from '79-82. These classic Chrome albums sealed Creed's reputation as a legendary guitarist.
In the mid-80's, Chrome continued as a Damon Edge solo project. He released numerous albums while stationed in France. Helios Creed also further developed his sound as a solo artist and released albums prolifically, first from the post-Punk late 80's creative milieu of San Francisco on Subterranean Records, then a brief stint on Sub Pop Records, relocating to Seattle before the then burgeoning Grunge scene had broken. However, Creed found his sonic home within the harder Noise Rock scene of the mid-West on Amphetamine Reptile Records. He toured Stateside and in Europe for years, sharing stages with many of the great indie acts of the late 80's and 90's. He toured in Nik Turner's (Hawkwind) band Space Ritual, along with current Chrome keyboardist Tommy Grenas, for their 1994 US tour. Creed has churned out 21 solo albums and singles from 1985-2011.
After Edge's passing in 1995, Creed took the helm of Chrome a year later with Tommy Grenas (Pressurehead, Farflung) on keys, and drummer Aleph Omega (who are still part of the current line-up), on stage and in the studio, making four more Chrome albums including 2002's "Angel of the Clouds", a posthumous collaboration with Damon Edge's work that he left behind when he died (recently re-released on the band's King of Spades Label in 2013).
While making the heralded "Feel It Like A Scientist" in 2012, previously unreleased lost tracks from Creed's and Edge's classic period of '79-'80 had surfaced. The band launched a campaign with fans to raise the funds to buy back, mix, and release the works. The resultant "Half Machine from the Sun, The Lost Chrome Tracks from '79-'80" album of previously unreleased material was released on King of Spades Records in 2013 and received a flood of favorable press, garnering a resurgence of interest in Chrome's cultural significance.
In the words of Ben Ratliff from "The New York Times", "Time does only favors to Chrome: the music the band made sounds more prescient, still strange and scratchy and generative. It could still theoretically start a new movement."