Like the sci-fi warriors they always wanted to be, Chrome were a band that never seemed to fit in with the times, whatever the time happened to be; conjuring a warped vision of the future that anticipated industrial culture while also looking back to the noisy primitivism of the Stooges and the Silver Apples, Chrome were glorious misfits, aliens who could exist on this earth for decades without sounding entirely comfortable in their new home. Almost 40 years after they released their first album, Chrome thankfully still sound like interstellar oddballs armed with electric guitars and malfunctioning electronics, and 2014's Feel It Like a Scientist is a remarkably effective evocation of the sound and style of Chrome's late-'70s albums Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves. This new edition of Chrome does have an aural fingerprint of its own -- drummer Aleph Omega has a more organic sound than the late Damon Edge, and D.I.Y. technology has improved enough to give this album much cleaner surfaces and crisper production than the sometimes clanky tone of the band's early work. But the collision of hard rock guitars (courtesy of leader Helios Creed) with non-melodic synth patterns, crashing drums, and various electronic sounds and distorted vocals will be lysergic manna for those who loved this band's early work. Feel It Like a Scientist not only simulates the approach of the classic Creed/Edge era with impressive accuracy, it generates a palpable excitement that's a powerful reminder that, in an increasingly eccentric world, Chrome is still as bracingly weird as ever. Feel It Like a Scientist may have a more recognizable context than Alien Soundtracks did in 1978, but Creed's commitment to Chrome's vision is as strong as ever, and the results will put a demented grin on the face of longtime fans. Judging from this music, Chrome are still lost in space, and who would want it any other way?
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming