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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chromatic Black

Chromatic Black

Review by Gary Hill

Time to jump on my soap box a bit here. There are a lot of people who like emo. I’m not one of them. Frankly, I think if you strip the angst from punk rock what you are left with is a bunch whiny guys showing off their half-assed version of punk rock. Well, I challenge all emo fans to pick up this disc. It shows that real punk rock still exists. It also shows that the real deal will blow the doors off of the half-baked copy any day. This album is what punk is all about. As with a lot of punk rock, a parental advisory is in order.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
scream and shout

An energized bass guitar line leads off here. As the other instruments join, it’s got a psychedelic fuzz meets punk rock sound. When they move it out for the vocal section, the punk rock takes over. The chorus has a guitar riff that calls to mind The Circle Jerks a bit. This is a real screamer with a lot of character. It’s got some killer punk angst. There’s a cool drop down section that makes me think of the Dead Boys a bit.

alright (cos nothing is alright)
Take some serious anger and sounds that are close to the Cramps and blend them with a Lords of the New Church kind of texture. Now, you are pretty close to this killer piece. It’s angry and fun and also quite catchy.
do you wanna
A high energy punk rock party tune, there’s a lot of old school rock and roll here and some Ramones. There’s are plenty of other punk rock and roots rock references to be heard, too. Whatever you call it, though, it’s a lot of fun. Comparisons to the Lords of the New Church or the Dead Boys are appropriate here, too.
under pressure
A psychedelic rock bit opens this. They use that mixed with punk rock for the verse, but the chorus powers out into more pure punk. Once again, comparisons to The Lords of the New Church are certainly appropriate.
human animals
The riff that drives this is almost heavy metal, but the vocals are closer to Lords of the New Church. It’s another high energy modern punk rock song. I love the monkey sounds on this piece and the mellower section is a nice touch, too.
a**hole in the mirror
A grinding punk rock sound makes this up. It’s got some killer guitar sounds and is just plain angry and also quite cool.
stay on holiday
Here’s a killer punk rock tune with a great hook. It has a lot in common with The Ramones.
night time
There’s a cool rock and roll meets punk feeling, rather like Generation X to this. It’s another smoking hot punk rocker that’s very cool.
cos we are all spiders caught in our own web
This is perhaps not punk rock. It’s more of a goth tune. It alternates between mellower and more powered up music and at times feels a bit like Alice Cooper.
too primitive for intelligence
There a some little twists and turns here, but overall this is a killer punk rock tune.
no reason
A song about war, this is yet another example of how a simple punk rock arrangement can be entertaining and varied. There’s a little bit of a stoner rock element to it.
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