Review of Crush Depth Album by Chrome Hoof

Chrome hoof are... eccentric doesn't quite cover it. They seem to specialise in sounding like every out-of-left-field band you've ever heard of, switching between deranged disco, whacked out space-prog noodlings, synthesised rave-alongs and straight up heavy metal at the drop of a heavily sequined hat with a peacock's feather sticking out the top of it.

Chrome Hoof Crush Depth Album

Imagine Primus having an almighty fight with Goldfrapp, while Pink Floyd and the Mad Capsule Markets look on and shout obscenities. It's absolutely bananas, completely unpredictable, and at times, absolutely astonishing.

Of course, the problem with mashing that many styles together is that quite often they simply don't go - too often bands will try to shoehorn two different styles together for the sake of being wacky, and it doesn't work:- Whereas Chromehoof seems to have got it right for the most part.

The album isn't perfect: The songs tend to merge into one, and those squeaky, jazz-madness vocals can grate after a while, but this shouldn't detract from what is an altogether entertaining disc. There's certain urgency to the entire album, like the planet's about to rupture, giant rainbow coloured lights being projected through the universe whilst a million robotic unicorns eat the very stars that hang above our heads, and Chromehoof are very eager to be the soundtrack to the event. The entire thing bubbles and twitches in a spasmodically beautiful stupor, and if you allow yourself to be swept along with it I defy anyone who is actually alive not to tap a foot or a finger along in time with the groove.

And good lord, does this album have grooves. Quite often, when a band is as nuts as Chromehoof, they decide that the best way to demonstrate how wacky they are is to completely ignore conventional time signatures, damning the listener into sitting eyes closed and brain fully engaged just to work out what in the hell's going on. Chromehoof don't do that. True enough, they might meander into some jazz time signatures every now and then, but that very much feels like they were supposed to end up there anyway, and while they're visiting they don't even take their coats off, there's a groove to be kept. Tracks like 'Sea Hornet' are the perfect example of this; dreamy 6/8 Jazzy audio scribbles open the track, giving way to alternating blasts of 4-to-the-floor disco, funk and metal in a luminous pink cocktail of soundgasm that tastes like whatever the hell it wants to taste like each time you put it to your lips.

What I'm trying to say is that even for all it's wackiness and it's dribbly-headed insanity, Crush Depth is not a hard album to listen to. It's as poppy as something this mental could be, and despite the long songs and the slightly wry, self knowing smugness that music of this persuasion seems to ooze from every pore (Although it should be said, Chromehoof are not the worst offenders of this, not by a long shot), the album is rather enjoyable. I'm listening to it as I type this, and I find myself enjoying it more and more the longer I subject myself to it.

Chris Spann

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