Chromosome Damage - s/t
(Fuzzy Portal Music-001 2008)

From Aural Innovations July 2009 update

Chromosome Damage are Chuk Hell on guitar/synth/sampler/vox, Colleen Gugan on bass/vox and Susie Damage on keys/vox, out of Austin (other band credits include Gugan's having played with ST 37's Scott Telles in Bahrain). As for the obvious Chrome references, the influence is distinctly present, though it'd be apt to refer more to their early '80s sound as opposed to the late '70s during which they made such a random and idiosyncratic ruckus (out of which of course many a classic tune appeared) so as to be difficult to emulate, purposefully or otherwise. And hence some of Helios Creed's earlier solo work can be heard throughout also, as what we have here is a set of pretty basic but slightly warped "dark new-wave"-ey rockers, with plenty of the (not quite so patented anymore) Helios-style chainsaw-riffage. The first proper song "Stargazer" is a winner, that monster-wah grinds through a steady beat and a catchy vocal from the main chick singer. "Spectral Assassin" features the voice of Chuk Hell and his high-mix guitar, low-mix copter-synth, hardcore-style "whooaaaa-uh-ohhhhh" group-chorus... nothing really new here. "Mind Dome" is something a little different with a very somber vocal (though they might have mixed the drums a little higher on this tune). Like their afore-mentioned predecessors, they pepper their songs with various sound elements, often strange subtle voice-fx. "Nemesis" is a heavy space-punk anthem. "Devil In the Deep Blue Sea" features the voice of the other female contributor, and it's a less stern, more melodious style... the bass really rumbles on this tune, and the guitar cranks out a riff more reminiscent of the metallic '80s. "Radio Noir" is my favorite cut of the set, really solid riffing and an alternate harp-plucking motif (though if my speakers aren't melting down, there was something missed in the mastering here, as I'm getting some buzzing with minimal volume). The closer, "Abby's Cross", is a slow ominous stripped-down rocker with keyboards... hey, it sounds like Chuk is singing about "the light that never warms"... wait, didn't they thank Albert Bouchard in the liner notes?... oh and look here: the album was recorded at the "Four Winds Bar" - I've brilliantly deduced a Blue Oyster Cult theme! After seven minutes, this track fades into three minutes of silence. The ensuing "hidden track" is a dark ambient piece for clean keyboards and sparse echoing percussives. All in all, not a great album, but we've got a couple of strong tunes.

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Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg

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