The fate of Chrome seemed sealed with the passing of cofounder Damon Edge in 1995, but in this age of ceaseless reunions and reinvigorations, even dead bands play again: the legendary San Francisco group’s other founder, Helios Creed, is using the name to take a new version of the freaky outer-space show on the road. In 1977 Chrome came out of the same mad-scientist movement that had already produced the Residents and Devo and would shortly give birth to Gary Numan, blending Meddle-era Pink Floyd psychedelic elements (tape effects, analog synthesizers, Waterphones) with proto-punk garage rock, a processed voice that made a method of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” intro, and a menacing, cyborgasmic, postapocalyptic sci-fi fetish. The band’s second record, Alien Soundtracks, which was reissued in 1990 by Touch and Go and is excerpted on the Cleopatra label’s three-CD Chrome Box, remains one of the great underground treasures of the 70s, a genuinely inspired oddity. After seven more albums Creed and Edge split in 1983. Edge eventually made more records as Chrome, but Creed stayed away, releasing a string of moderately successful recordings for Amphetamine Reptile. Last year he re-formed Chrome and put out a surprisingly good studio record, Retro Transmission, on Cleopatra. It’s nowhere near as strange as the initial records–the alien shtick is less submerged and the trash- and synth-rock edges are smoother–but all the elements are all there and generally in the right place. This year’s follow-up, Tidal Forces (on poster artist Frank Kozik’s label, Man’s Ruin), is more synthetic and spacey, but still packs the wacko punch. Mirror Dinghy and the Silver Apples open; between sets belly dancer Samra–who happens to be Spot Check columnist Monica Kendrick’s mom–will move to both traditional Middle Eastern sounds and metal machine music. Thursday, April 9, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. JOHN CORBETT
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Helios Creed photo-uncredited.