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Red Exposure

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Album Review

Continuing deeper into their self-created world of weird alien skies and man/machine biology, among many other things, Edge and Creed, still working with John Cyborg, whipped up Red Exposure. Released as it was in the U.K. by Beggars Banquet during the heyday of Gary Numan, Red Exposure probably came across as the whacked-out American version of the modern machine music Numan (or more appropriately, Cabaret Voltaire) was whipping up. Seen in the light of history, though, it just sounds like Chrome — a slightly more controlled Chrome than on previous albums, but still out-and-out crazed and strange. Elements of fractured beauty surface more than once — the instrumental "Room 101," with haunting keyboard sighs and drones, and the similarly moody pulse of "Nights of the Earth" show that not everything is completely cracked. Such moments are only brief compared to the usual hip-shake mind-f*ck of Chrome, pitched somewhere between unexpected catchiness and head-shaking, "what the hell was that?" shifts and turns. Musically there's less clutter, no immediate sense of piling absolutely everything up to see what would happen, even on the busiest tracks. Still, everything feels distanced and not-quite-there as before — even the crispest, punchiest songs, like the slow-dance beat of "Static Gravity," have something frayed at the edges (in this song's case, distorted and muddied orchestral swoops). Edge and Creed split the vocals between most tracks, while playing a boggling array of keyboards, guitars, and whatever else they could get their hands on. Creed's singing is a little more comprehensible than Edge's, who buries himself in the murk as much as possible or ominously whispers when the mood takes him, as on the more-cryptic-than-thou trudge of "Jonestown." Samples and drop-ins again make an appearance, but usually heavily treated, acting more as background atmospherics than jarring cut-ups. The most amusing cut in context is "Electric Chair," which sounds like somebody told Chrome to see if a Devo-like hit could be created.

Customer Reviews

the first grindcore psychedelic punk still modern after more than 30 years

some records are marked by passing time , and other seem eternal, even when one listens to them after more 30 years.....red exposure still seems as extra terrestrial as when it went out in 1980, with its odd lyrics , its distorted vocals, its repetitive fascinating rythmics, its amateuristic drum rolls, its compartimented instrumenations....and suddenly when you think you've reached the limits of suffering after enduring a grindcore ambient punk guitar solo at the end of "eyes of the center", suddenly the genius touch of Damon edge and Helios Creed is materializing the most commercial song (n)ever expected from Chrome : Electric Chair..... with a very commercial chorus, intelligently camouflated behind the inevitable background noise.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '10s

One of the original forefathers in the industrial boom of the 1980s, Chrome's amalgam of distorted guitars and vocals, samples from TV, and a raw punk aesthetic (inspired by the Stooges) became much more popular in the early '90s than it ever was while the band was around in the '70s and '80s. Although active for only six years, Chrome left behind a huge discography, including nine full LPs (several of which were released posthumously) and numerous EPs and singles. Chrome were formed in San Francisco...
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