Seminal avant-punk psychedelic outfit Chrome will be releasing a full album (1 CD or 2 LPs) of previously unreleased material from 1979/80 on King of Spades Records November 5. The album is titled: Half Machine from the Sun, The Lost Chrome Tracks from ’79-’80.
Guitarist Helios Creed explains: “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.”
Known for their experimental, de/re-construction of rock and roll, many of these Lost Chrome Tracks have a tendency towards catchy melodies and strong hooks, while still maintaining chrome’s signature innovation, weirdness and pile-driver rhythm. Other numbers are pure experimental noise. In all, this double album opens a window into the diverse sounds of this groundbreaking band and this groundbreaking era in rock and roll.
Chrome’s blend of raw energy and mind-bending audio manipulation influenced a wide range of musical genres, 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,” as psychedelic connoisseur Julian Cope put it.
Chrome was founded by vocalist/drummer Damon Edge in 1975, inspired by proto-punk pioneers the Stooges as well as the radical experimentation of John Cage. After releasing their debut album The Visitation on Edge’s own Siren label, guitarist and vocalist Helios Creed joined Chrome, replacing their original guitarist. He played bass as well as guitar, sang and composed songs with Edge, coming in to make their commercial and artistic breakthrough Alien Soundtracks Chrome’s 2nd album — an immediate underground hit. Creed’s guitar work “exploded the possibilities of what psychedelic, punk, new wave and industrial rock could sound like” claims Examiner.com’s Andrew Stecz.
Creed and Edge comprised the main creative force behind their next album, Half Machine Lip Moves, as another founding member left. “Nobody ever started an album with as much fire as Chrome did with the opening of Half Machine Lip Moves” proclaims Cope. “[it] remains my favorite beginning to any rock n’ roll record, surpassing even Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power.” Chrome continued Alien Soundtracks‘ Sci-Fi-Punk, collage of searing rock with noise, sound-bites, scrap-metal percussion and unusual manipulations of their instruments and amplifiers, but done heavier with Creed’s guitar feedback and Edge’s powerful drumming to the fore.
Chrome signed to the UK’s Beggar’s Banquet label for their fourth album Red Exposure and Third From the Sun, their fifth which included contributions from Edge’s new wife Fabienne Shine (of French punk sensations Shaking Street). They also released 5 EPs and singles on various labels from ’79-’82. Afterwards Creed left the band and established himself as unique and powerful solo artist, touring extensively and recording prolifically. He continued to be a influence through the grunge and noise rock indie scenes and he toured with Nik Turner’s (Hawkwind) band “Space Ritual.” Creed turned out 21 solo albums and several singles in his own right, from 1985 to 2011. After Edge’s death in 1997, Creed took the helm of Chrome on stage and in the studio, making four more Chrome albums, completing one Edge had started before his passing, Angel of the Clouds, released in 2002 (and re-released by King of Spades Records this year).
“I’ve created new music for close to 40 years now,” states Creed.” This ‘Lost Chrome Tracks’ release & a new Chrome album I’ve been recording this year, will be my 37th & 38th albums.”