Catherine Wheel
Chrome


5.0
classic

Review

by ANJ45 USER (13 Reviews)
May 15th, 2014 | 63 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A masterfully executed follow-up to an already-superb album, Chrome was Catherine Wheel at the top of their game.

There are quite a few album covers out there that flawlessly encapsulate the atmosphere and/or mood of the music contained. Chrome has one of said covers. The darkened underwater environment, coupled with three swimmers posing together in some abstract formation, along with the small sliver of what seems to be a neighborhood or apartment complex cresting the very top of the image. This album certainly has a distinct atmosphere, and this cover is a fine representation of the sound that the band so expertly masters, mixing dream-like euphoria with darkened paranoia, all with a heavily distorted and reverb-drenched tinge.

It’s not like Catherine Wheel established their sound with Chrome, either. Ferment was considered their supposed magnum opus, with the extremely successful lead-single “Black Metallic”. Chrome is more appropriately described as a perfection of their established sound, as the band’s metallic shoegaze is refined in terms of both intensity and melodic-content. Every element that made Ferment so memorable and enjoyable is amplified in this release, and it certainly makes sense why the two are often compared as their best work.

Rob Dickinson’s vocal style is largely unchanged, but as with the style and instrument, is subtly improved. His distinct, breathy singing is still the forefront, but the lead melodies are further developed, especially on moments such as the chorus from “I Confess”, in which the lead and secondary vocal parts flawlessly compliment the chord progression, and as a result, the harmony produced is sublime. Trust me when I say that this is one of the more unique and frankly excellent voices in all of rock music.

The songwriting is significantly more aggressive than that displayed on Ferment, and the alternative rock and grunge-influenced element to their music is given a bigger light. That’s not to say that there isn’t a fair amount of laid-back, lullaby-infused balladry, as some of these songs are even more relaxed than softer songs from the previous release. “The Nude” is one of the more beautiful arrangements of the album, and certainly a highlight. The song manages to keep the textured distortion and intensity characterized by the majority of the band’s music while having a soaring and gorgeous, almost orchestral sounding harmony during the chorus.

Catherine Wheel have truly pushed their sound to its ultimate potential on this record, and it’s quite surprising that the band is relatively unknown and under-appreciated nowadays. Regardless, both Ferment and Chrome are absolutely essential within the shoegaze genre, and I can say without hesitation that this release was one of the best albums to come out of the 90’s, with an accessible, original, and heavy take on the overall sound of the alternative rock and metal pertaining to that decade.



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user ratings (163)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ANJ45
May 15th 2014


208 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wrote this pretty late, so may make some tweaks later on.

ethos
May 15th 2014


1894 Comments


props on writing this, i got this a few days ago at random and your review reminded me to check them
out so awesome stuff all around thx thx thx!

TwigTW
May 15th 2014


3813 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice review--I agree that it is better than Ferment. It’s one of the best albums from the 90s, and one of my favorites.

Digging: P.P. Arnold - The New Adventures of ...

Wadlez
May 15th 2014


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album, nice review.

Hopelust
May 15th 2014


3451 Comments


saw these guys live once. a long long time ago. Anyone partake in attending the "summersault" tour?

Gmork89
May 15th 2014


7902 Comments


Good stuff on this. I have never been able to really love a whole album from these guys but I have a handful of their songs I listen to fairly regularly.

SCREAMorphine
May 15th 2014


1824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic review and their best album imo

KILL
May 16th 2014


81232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album gj

KriegdemKriege
May 16th 2014


1544 Comments


Whoa, how did this not have a review yet? I really like this album.

TheBarber
July 8th 2014


3812 Comments


Pain is amazing!

TheCrocodile
October 2nd 2014


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than Ferment but both are awesome.

alternapop
November 11th 2014


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I can't say that Ferment is better or worse than Chrome. I think both are excellent, although Ferment may be more of a

slow grower. Chrome is a little more aggressive and I go to it when I'm in a certain mood.

Royl123
January 22nd 2015


2089 Comments


CRANK!!

Royl123
January 22nd 2015


2089 Comments


CRANK!!

ExcentrifugalForz
January 30th 2015


2124 Comments


crank

TwigTW
January 30th 2015


3813 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuc . . . Oh, wrong album, Crank!

Mr. Pain
April 4th 2016


17338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love how hard this rocks

ShadowRemains
June 25th 2016


25021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

top notch record, especially crank

bach
September 22nd 2016


16269 Comments


Just call me crank

DoofusWainwright
September 22nd 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

with pleasure



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