Tony Raines – guitars
Carl Wilson – vocals, bass
Tony Butchart – drums
Ryan C. Skeels – bass
CHROME HELMET materialized in 2002 beneath the deep-rooted grasslands of southeastern Michigan. Noted for employing two simultaneous bass players, the foursome merges a bevy of “hard rock” genres to generate an inimitable balance all its own. Sure, the straight-ahead heavy rock and tight riffage is there (thanks to the unyielding authority of homegrown champions like Bob Seger and Ted Nugent), along with strapping vocals, everyman lyrics and rock-solid rhythm section, but there’s something else loitering in the resonance; something buried alive like a well-concealed hitchhiker in a shallow grave behind a Michigan militia man’s compound. Simply put, the band restructures the beast called rock and roll, steering it past the grazing slumber of radio-rock and the cheesiness of Creed…
Songs like “Bullfight” and “Picked Up” are hot-wired for those who dare carry the torch forward — the kind of infectious, volatile songs radio used to play back when April Wine, Rush and Kiss still had the goods. However, Chrome Helmet is even more proficient at blasting through heartlands punk (somewhere between Husker Du and the Necros) as they are laying good psychedelic grooves and Sebadoh-meets-Foreigner-inspired jams. Their music shows the influence of 1960s pop music, garage-rock and even new-wave (often buried under a thick layer of guitar), with a strong melodic sense. What’s more, Wilson’s lyrics, often playful, make astute, personal and social annotations, showing a great deal of empathy for his subjects.
In 2004, they issued their self-titled debut CD, which garnered strong critical claim in the tri-state area and hoisted the band into bigger venues with some of the area’s bigger names, thanks in part to their strong draw. The band eventually went on to win three regional “Battle of the Bands” before catching the ear of indie powerhouse, Sin Klub Entertainment (home to The PB Army, Highbinder and Evolotto). By this time, CHROME HELMET had already made a name for themselves for cutting no-nonsense rockers, as well as incredibly melodic radio-friendly cuts.
Recorded in late 2005 and early 2006, CHROME HELMET’s new 14-song CD, Full Circle, is their indie-label debut, recorded at Ape Studio in Toledo, Ohio with producer/engineer Randy Wilson (Puerto Muerto, Nitzer Ebb, Liz Phair) and executive-producer ES3 (Evolotto, Thessalonian Dope Gods). The record captures the sheer power of their stage presence and shows why the band’s beguiling and heavy hooks already appeal to a broad base of rock fans. If you like Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden, and Local H, but have a penchant for American AOR and ‘rock’ bands like Kiss, Rush and Collective Soul, you won’t be able to get this out of your player!
Of note, the cover art was graciously provided by Detroit’s own Mark Dancey, whose work graces all the Big Chief projects and the cover of Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger.