AMN Reviews: Chrome Hoof – Chrome Back Gold (2013; Cuneiform Records)


Prog disco? Magma meets the dance floor? You’ve got to be kidding right?

This UK nine or ten piece outfit is led by two brothers, Leo Smee and Milo Smee. One is into progressive rock and metal, while the other produces techno and electronica. Chrome Hoof is their joint effort that covers these seemingly extreme corners of the musical spectrum, as well as a lot of space in between. The result is a diverse, yet catchy and appealing release.

Take the soul and funk side of Magma, combine with Bitches Brew era Miles, add in some Sun Ra along with King Crimson riffing, then view through the lens of Europop and you might scratch the surface of Chrome Black Gold. The first three tracks alone exemplify the breadth of this release. Enter the Drobe and When the Lightning Strikes might both be at home on Eloy‘s Metromania. On the other hand, Knopheria is for the dance floor, albeit one with guitars and psychedelic keyboards.

While diversity is usually a good thing, in and of itself diversity does not guarantee an enjoyable listening experience. However, Chrome Hoof manages to blend styles without making it sound like that was their only goal. Chrome Black Gold is a cohesive entry into both the sci-fi influenced progressive rock and the sci-fi influenced electronica genres. Each track is a series of familiar riffs and melodies, arranged in a new fashion to produce a new result. Too much fun.

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