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Half Machine Lip Moves + Read Only Memory

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Editors’ Notes

Since Chrome's chemistry wasn’t quite solidified on its 1976 debut, The Visitation, this twofer is a better way to become acquainted with the group. Following John Lambdin's departure, Chrome added band member Helios Creed to the lineup with 1978’s Alien Soundtracks, but it was in 1979 when its sound gelled with its third album, Half Machine Lip Moves, and the Read Only Memory EP. “TV as Eyes” opens, first sounding like aggressive lo-fi garage rock in the spirit of The Stooges before dissolving into a barrage of layered TV samples, static, and distorted Moog chirps that come together to sound like intercepted signals from outer space all playing at once. The Hawkwind-inspired “Zombie Warfare (Can’t Let You Down)” further proved that psychedelia wasn’t just for hippies, while “March of the Chrome Police (A Cold Clammy Bombing)” and “You’ve Been Duplicated” could have been Chrome’s first forays into crafting catchy songs. “You Can’t See Them—They Can’t Touch You” starts with backmasking and mechanical ambiance, hinting at a future industrial-based direction.


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...
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