Helios Creed

X-Rated Fairy Tales

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Recorded with a fairly straightforward backing band (bassist Mark Duran, synth-player John Carlan, and drummer/keyboardist Bill Roth), Creed's first solo album still turned out to be something touched with the unmistakable mark of Chrome. The production was often murky and strange, effects processing was everywhere, Creed's vocals sounded on the edge of sanity, and, of course, the guitars. Still creating one massive rock surge after another, with feedback piled on top of feedback and, likely enough, more pedals than anyone had ever seen at any one time, Creed showed once again why his guitar-god reputation exists in the first place. That his first solo album continued the true vibe of Chrome where Damon Edge's own use and abuse of the name made him a laughing stock probably wasn't that surprising in the end. Creed himself thought of this album as a more stripped-down, less "stony" affair, but it's mostly a matter of splitting hairs from an outside perspective. Considering that the title track itself is an acoustic guitar-led acid folk number with appropriate crumbling guitar noises in the background and post-hippie vibes everywhere, one has to wonder what Creed considers to be really stoned music. The most crisp the album gets is with the rhythm section, which often has a good full-bodied punch to it (and if anything sounds a bit like the work of Can, one of Chrome's inspirations). There's a little less stuff about alien takeovers and lurking gods outside the solar system and the like -- there's even a semi-cover of the old Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode" -- but then again one almost-dancefloor number is called "Sex Voodoo Venus," so go figure. "Showdown" is also a pretty focused, rhythmic number notable for chunky riffs rather than extended soloing, while the "You don't like me/I don't like you" lyrics are pretty funny (and maybe about Edge -- and who could blame him?).

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