Chrome Rises in the West

Helios Creed of Chrome photo by <a href=
Helios Creed of Chrome photo by Caroline Homer
posted Tuesday Jun 5th, 2007

This Wednesday in Seattle at the Funhouse, as well as down the rest of the West Coast the following few days, Helios Creed is reviving the Chrome moniker for a series of rare live appearances which should be nothing short of mind-melting. For over 30 years, Chrome has been one of the most coveted anomalies in underground music, and even with their early records being reissued several times over, they always elude the masses and remain one of those names you hear passed around by the town acid casualties and assorted random weirdos who still have their heads together enough to remember how to listen to music. Formed in the most vile crevices of the alleys of San Francisco in the mid 70s, Chrome was originally the concept of Damon Edge who formed the band's label Siren Records in 1976 and by the time of their epic second album, Alien Soundtracks, Helios Creed had joined and solidified their primal, swirling industrial sci-fi punk sound into a monster like nothing ever that existed before it. The outer limits of New Wave? That sounds pretty far off, but that's what they were calling themselves before the tag drew it's inevitable negative connotation. Another one of the true 70s originals, Chrome pummeled the noise running through their heads into a force far larger than the sum of it's parts, of which you could feel the shards of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Deviants, and Suicide prick you as you reach your arms into it's vile innards for a closer look. They made very minimal live appearances over the years, and even chose to play their first show in Italy as late as 1981 without ever performing live in their own state. Despite recording an immense amount of great material during the 1978-82 period, including a major label album with Beggar's Banquet along with almost ten albums' worth of material, and even a live sex show soundtrack recently unearthed from the Mitchell Brother's Adult Theater in San Francisco from 1976, they still fly far below the radar of most other high-profile acts of the period. Tension between Edge and Creed over touring led to an inevitable split in '82, which resulted in the start of Helios Creed's very prolific solo career. Creed's lengthy list of releases are all worth checking out, and after thirteen years, he officially revived the Chrome live unit after Damon Edge's death in 1996, with great results. For fans of psychedelic music that breaks the mold like so few before them, Chrome is essential and timeless, and to miss a chance to see it would really be detrimental to your already rapidly deteriorating mental health. Seattle's very own Blank Its open up the night, which should instantly zonk the crowd into a mindframe susceptible to android nightmares complete with robotic instrumentation, cold-wave vocals, and an instant cerebral appeal. If you're anywhere near the Seattle area, be at the Funhouse on Wednesday night, and do not miss this unreal delicacy of underground rock'n roll in firsthand.

here's a video for Chrome's "Meet Me In The Subway" courtesy of absentreferent...

and check out a Helios Creed video for "Your Spaceman" from 1991 courtesy of Noisybeast right here...