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One of the great things about reissues and records of unreleased material is it gives me a chance to write about records I wouldn’t otherwise have reason to, this is especially true for Chrome’s Half Machine From The Sun: The Lost Chrome Tracks ’79-’80 released on King Of Spades Records in 2013. Anyone familiar with the band knows pretty much what to expect from this release: experimental rock blending elements of proto-industrial rock, noise rock, psychedelic rock, and punk/post-punk among other thing. The 18 tracks of this album, financed through PledgeMusic, feature material recorded between their magnum opus Half Machine Lip Moves and Red Exposure and previously thought to be lost. Recorded at the apex of Chrome’s career, Half Machine From The Sun features music more or less on par with Alien Soundtracks. The tracks find themselves locking more into a groove than many of more texturally focused tracks on Half Machine Lip Moves. Think less the industrial cacophony of early Swans and more along the lines of the rhythmic noise rock grooving of local heroes Guerilla Toss. Tracks like “Looking For Your Door” have an almost Devo feel to them. Nearly every song is a strong cut, with the blue-y post-punk rager “Something Rhythmic” being as good as just about any track the band recorded. While not a great entry point for new listeners, Half Machine From The Sun is an essential release for fans. Those new to Chrome may be better off checking out The Visitation (drastically different from what came later and lacking Helios Creed, but Chrome’s first record, sounding something like a space rock/prog rock Santana), Alien Soundtracks, and/or Half Machine Lip Moves.

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