14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Strange and Beautiful,
This review is from: Strange Times (Audio CD)
For the uninitiated, The Chameleons where an overlooked, vastly underated yet staggeringly brilliant post-punk rock outfit from Manchester, England. In there relatively obscure career they recorded 3 of the 1980's best alternative albums, there debut "Script of the Bridge", follow up "What does anything mean Basically" and the currently reviewed and pick of the bunch "Strange Times". Once in your never out, listeners may not be plentiful, but those that do get to hear the band inevitably fall in love with the mind blowing Guitar interplay thats somehow melodic yet Punky,the mesmerizing sheets of synth and the wordplay and punk vocals of ginger singer Mark Burgees.
"Strange Times" opens with a furious burst of nihlistic guitar riffing before the pretty damn full on drum and bass frenzy that is "Mad Jack" enters. Its growling unmistakable bridge hook of "ba ba da, ba ba" will lodge itself firmly inside your appreciative brain for ever. Self styled poet and frontman Mark Burgees hits you straight away with his lyrical prowess and uncompromising philosophy, "Ignorance is dangerous, and Innocence is bliss" all delivered in a striking Manchester accent that is more Coronation Street than Strangeways scally.
Track 3, the haunting and haunted "Tears" is a definite Chameleons career high-point, particular the "alternate" version available on most reisues of the LP, opening with a simple yet brilliant guitar arpeggio with swooshing feedback under it.
There is not one weak track on this album "Swamp Thing" perfectly exemplifies the whole Chameleons experience, sounding like the end of the world with its trademark synthesier and epic soundscapes, "Time the end of Time" urges us to "make the most of your tiiiime", then "Seriocity" and "In answer" are a truly heartbreaking pair of tunes.
To put it in familair terms, The Chameleons sound like an energised sky scraping Joy Division and The Cure hybrid. There are plenty of hooks on this album, give it 3 listens and you'll be caught on them. This is one of the greatest albums ive heard in a long Tiiiime.