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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Chrome Hoof August 16, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Prog, punk, soul, dance, electronica, metal, experimental chamber rock orchestral tracks – it must be Chrome Hoof. They’ve been around since 2000, and were established by Leo and Milo Smee, the former of whom is a member of the late and very lamentedCathedral, purveyors of doom metal, who themselves took a prog turn (though not too much of one) an album or two back. Their sound is eclectic and filled out by trumpet, bassoon, saxophone, violin, viola and more. There’s a crossover with some personnel having been in Knifeworld and associated groups.

So if you think they’re like Cathedral, well, they ain’t. Their latest album, released last year, Chrome Black Gold, is to my ears amazing. As noted on emusic, by having a range of female lead vocalists, including Chantal Brown and Shingai Shoniwa of the very excellent Noisettes it ‘offer (s)a defiantly un-macho take on prog, traditionally the hoariest of rock sub-genres’.

Sure, there’s the straight ahead prog of When Lightening Strikes, until the point where Shoniwa steps in and suddenly it’s not straight ahead prog at all. There’s Knopheria which surely must be a disco hit in another universe completely (and those of us partial to Cathedral may recognise one familiar keyboard sound in it). Tortured Craft reminds me just a little of Rip, Rig and Panic, and is none the worse for it. Instrumental Kestrel Dawn comes over initially as a sort of electropop/EBM before… before… before… what might be a beefier take on hauntology, meets some prog and then fades out – all in the space of a minute and forty eight seconds. Varkada Blues has fantastic doom rock vocals, from I’m presuming Leo Smee, tricksy keyboards, a great female vocal which wanders in from another song entirely but is entirely appropriate to the track and ends in neat electronica and Exo-Spektral is strange and great, a weird cross between ELO, Siouxsie and Kurt Weill. It’s that kind of an album.

Highly, highly recommended.

Nopheria (ft. Shingai Shoniwa)

When Lightning Strikes (Live)

Kestrel Dawn

Tortured Craft

Varkada Blues

When Lightning Strikes

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