'Alien Soundtracks', in 1978, developed and explored other audio worlds whilst hammering out a garage punk, psychedelic-jam in the background. 1979's ‘Half Machine Lip Moves', possibly the most famous album of the Chrome repertoire [and often cited as an influence by many bands from GG Allin to The Jesus Lizard], finds Edge and Creed doing all instrumentation/vocals with Gary Spain contributing occasionally. On this album, the raw punk sound was further developed with blasts of taped schizophrenia and synth sound effects. 'Read Only Memory', which came out right after 'Half Machin', is a twist of tapes and found sound and features the famous track 'I am the Jaw'.
'Subterranean Modern' (a 1979 compilation feat. four bands), 'Red Exposure' (1980), and 'Inworlds' (1981) were the next three releases featuring Edge on rhythm/percussion and keyboard tracks and creed on guitar and bass tracks. In 1980, several videos were shot: 'New Age' (Three Versions), and 'Meet you in the Subway' which shows Damon and Helios walking the tunnels of San Francisco's BART station, dressed as droogs. Possibly the tightest of the Chrome releases was 1981's 'Blood On The Moon', Thanks to the help of John and Hilary Stench, from Romeo Void and Vital Parts – playing bass and drums respectively, Chrome moved forward into a strong four-man band sound while retaining the acid sounds of phased keyboards, effected vocals, and otherworldly, chopped up taped textures, The result was a sonic masterpiece.
The same year, Chrome played a festival in Bologna, Italy. The following year, 1982, proved to be a very productive year for the band with a multitude of releases and videos. 'Third from the Sun' came out, which featured the classic song of the same name [covered by Prong in 1989]. John & Hilary continued to provide the rhythm section, while Helios played guitar, Damon began to sing almost exclusively, and play synths.
Damon's wife, a French woman named Fabienne Shine, began to sing slso, and can first be heard on the track 'Off the Line'. Three more videos were released that year, 'Firebomb,' 'The Need,' and 'Danger Zone' (which consists of educational tapes spliced together in an interesting way). 'No Humans Allowed' in 1982, compiled all of the bands discontinued Siren Records releases. Included was the EP 'Inworlds', the b-side of the 'New Age' single, and the b-side of 'Read Only Memory'.
Also released was 'The Chrome Box' set, which included four of their old albums, plus new recordings - 'The Chronicles I & II'. On 'The Chronicles', the Stench Brothers provided rhythm, Helios provided stabs of guitar weirdness, and Damon sang and played synths. Occssionally, Fabienne can be heard in the background with her ghostly pleadings. ‘Raining Milk' in 1983 was simply en edited version of 'The Chronicles' which contain some 17+ minutes songs.
In 1984, Chrome-USA vanished. Damon retained the band name and, after moving to Europe with wife Fabienne, recruited a new cast of characters, most of whom had played in Fabienne's band, Shakin' Street. 'Into the Eyes of the Zombie King', released on New Rose records, had a more electronic feel as Damon began to use electric drums and sampled loops much more. Also in 1984, Chrome played in France at the Lyon Cultural Center, which was recorded for release.
Many tracks were variations on the older Chrome songs, namely, some ‘Blood on the Moon' and 'Third from the Sun' tracks. 'Liquid Forest', also recorded in 1984, was s 180 degree turn, musically, with overlayed backward, repeated rhythms and vocal explorations. Writing conventional "songs" was not the focus here (has it ever been?), as many tracks lead into each other. 'Another World', in 1985 was a much more upbeat album, without the slowed down, dark, electro rhythms.
1986's 'Dreaming In Sequence' album was a continuation of that feeling with many more upbeat tracks and the beginning of Damon's famous echo-wailing. Clean guitars were pushed to the foreground for something totally new to the Chrome sound. 'Eternity', also a 1986 release, is a loose, flowing album with two songs on the A side, one song on the B side. Electro-rhythms, clean synthesizers, and repetitive guitar and vocal themes was the idea here, with a return to a slightly darker, atmospheric, soundtrack sound.
In 1987, things picked up again. Damon brought in many more musicians and released 'Alien Soundtracks II’ a dark, electro-synth blast of songs and a return to themes of aliens, other planets, and "Pharaoh Chromium sitting on his throne". In Germany, during December 1987, Chrome played live. Very little information is available on this event, but it was released as a full length album.
'We need at least $30,000 to start a tour off. Any less and it's just too rough...I got into a little trouble while we were on tour once and the prince of Morocco had to help me out of it (laughs). The prince was a Chrome fan...' Around this time also, Damon produced four solo Damon Edge albums: 'Alliance' (1985), 'Grand Visions’ (1986), 'The Surreal Rock' (1987), and 'The Wind is Talking' (1986). Somewhat off the beaten path, these albums are often ignored by many Chrome fans.
However, several very interesting pieces are contained within. In the late 80's, Damon and Fabienne parted ways and Damon moved back to L.A., where he had grown up. In 1988, 'One Million Eyes' was released. Continuing on with the return to alien themes and such, Damon overlayed spoken-word, sci-fi samples.
Analog synths and phased guitars were used again as somewhat of a return to an older Chrome sound. Side two is a fourteen minute piece. In 1990, 'Mission of the Entranced' came out. There are only two tracks on this album – side one's 'We are not Haunted' and side two's 'Mission of the Entranced'.
Both are repetitive themes overlayed with sound effects, voices, and guitars. Damon's strong point was telling interesting stories over a wash of alien sound, and here is no better exsmple. In 1994, 'The Clairaudient Syndrome' was released. Side one is s straightforward rock venture spiced with Damon's twisted sense of humor.
Side two, on the other hand, is a journey into inner space. One can imagine a demented alien war veteran speaking at a podium while the organic hum of the starships engines pulsate and drone quietly in the background. August, 1995. Thomas Edward Wisse was found dead in his L.A.
apartment from heart failure. Reportedly said to have become very sick and agoraphobic, Damon spent the last of his days recording new songs for future releases. Incidentally, 'Angel of the Clouds' features Damon's lost work from the album 'Days of Beauty’. After somewhat patching things up with Helios, the two talked of a reunion, which, obviously, never happened.
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