There is something amiss here. Following two wonderful (5-star) albums: Pre-Emptive False Rapture (2007) and Crush Depth (2010), Chrome Black Gold (2013, mainly recorded in 2011) is the third album proper by Chrome Hoof. It's a bit of a disappointment. After the massive sound and inventive dynamics of the first two albums this comes over as a bit flat and empty - as if half the credited band aren't actually on the record. It is shorter too, and while it has it's moments - Enter The Drobe kicks the album off well and Varkada Blues starts off in traditional Hoof fashion - it all gets a bit pedestrian for Chrome Hoof, more chrome-plated rather than solid. And I miss the vocals of Lola Olafisoye, here as a "guest" on only one track. Nevertheless it still stands out from the herd. Given the band's unique take on music the only sensible comparison to make with this new album is the other Chrome Hoof albums - unfortunately this one sounds a bit like a small band trying to be Chrome Hoof. A 3-star effort in Hoof terms but 4-star relative to anything else.
If you've read anything about this band you'd be forgiven for thinking it overwritten drivel... but as far as the earlier albums go, believe the hype, it's just impossible to satisfactorily characterise the noise they make as it ticks so many musical genre boxes while creating something of it's own. It is an aural equivalent of the pan-galactic gargle blaster in Douglas Adams' "Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy"... willingly drink it in and you won't regret it. At it's best the Hoof is amazing. I've never tracked down an earlier listed Chrome Hoof CD from 2004/5 but there are other shorter CDs around such as Beyond Zade, which is excellent, featuring early versions of Rapture material: "the Hoof is on the rise" indeed.