Chrome Hoof - Disco cloaks taking over the stage!
Some time ago I reviewed Chrome Hoof’s last record; Pre-Emptive False Rapture, which was worth a scratch on the head. Funky, soul/rock tunes with doomy things and just plain avant-garde pieces is what the album offers, but I got the feeling the songs could have been written stronger. That on the side, I really wanted to know what this would be like in a live environment. My first chance to see this was at Eurosonic, but as I arrived at the venue they were playing at, it appeared that more than 100 people were still waiting outside because it was full. Bummer. So here is my second chance, at the 013 of course.
Chrome Hoof was the only band of the night. Its link with metal comes through bassist Leo Smee from Cathedral fame, who teamed up with his brother Milo to start this weird project. A short description of what one sees on stage: ten people, dressed in disco ball cloaks, playing all sorts of instruments. Oh and I must mention that the Dutch breakcore DJ (and doom bassist) Bong-Ra also participated in this show. The vocalist, which is a black woman with a mighty voice, wears this weird kind of see-through dress that, when spread with her arms, has a pentagram on it. It surely is a feast for the eye, this band.
The music then, it is funky and swinging as a motherfucker. First I’ll go down the instruments, we have with us a drummer, a bassist, two guitarists, a vocalist, a saxophonist, a trumpet/sampler/screamer, a violin player, an organ/keyboard player and of course Bong-Ra, who handled his electronics, while also playing guitar and doing percussion. Most people on stage took part in percussion anyway, especially with all kinds of bells and mini-cymbals and such. The songs they produced were executed very professionally, especially the guitarist, bassist, organist and violin player (which was kind of a chick, haha!) really impressed me with their skills. Their songs made a bigger impression on me than while listening to their record, and the feeling of a Mr. Bungle was increased even more. But still I felt like the songs could have been written stronger. Perhaps in time they will achieve what I’m looking for.
Overall I really enjoyed this show, I was pretty much amazed they pulled this off with ten people on that reasonably small stage. It’s definitely something cool to go and see live, and I hope that with their next album I will be a dedicated follower. Keep an eye out for Chrome Hoof and check them out live if you get the chance!