I no longer have a record player and I deiced it;'s time to put my home made tape away and get the mp3 of this cos i have been listening to it since it came out. I saw them at the garage and at the camden falcon (secret gig) among other times - one of the best live bands ever.
This is one of my favourite records of all time. Seriously infectious pop with great choruses, two fantastic guitarists battling it out across the songs and a the wonderful Steve mack on vocals. Most underrated record ever!!
"Chemicrazy" is the 4th album from the sadly missed That Petrol Emotion, and should have been the one that propelled them to mega stardom. "Hey Venus" is the opener and is a classic TPE pop song with a hook that stays in your head. For those who don't know this is what TPE did best - pure unadulterated guitar pop. There was an excellent remix of this aswell on the single - long before remixing was fashionable. "Blue to Black" is just awesome - the opening bass and drums make your ears prick up so when the all on guitar assault come in be ready for some serious sonic action. "Mess of words" is the third track and one I certainly listen to over and over. The vibe on this is something else - Steve Mack gives this an added edge with an excellent performance which is enhanced by harmonies the Beach Boys would have been proud of! "Sensitize" the first single from the album and an old Simon Mayo record of the week no less, is again classic TPE pop - "Ultra fervor head to toe" indeed! "Another Day" and "Gnaw Mark" follow this lost single. Again riff laden no nonsense guitar assault and Gnaw Mark gets the thumbs up for the classic line of "no mahaired goon is gonna take my place" - what a winner! When I first bought this album (back in 1990) I had it on tape and nearly crashed the car when I put what was the opener for side 2 on. "Scumsurfin'" - for those in the know, 'nuff said. For you TPE virgins out there BUY THIS ALBUM FOR THIS SONG ALONE! A great riff opens this gem followed by drum kick start into a ferocious song of total guitar action. Don't be fooled by the "quiet bit" in the middle - they say noise annoys - this is noisey but annoying - PAH! Its hard to imagine but by the end of Scumsurfin you're only half way through Chemicrazy and already you've been subjected to all out guitar assualt, pop gems and vocals to die for. "Compulsion" slows things down a bit but just shows that TPE write classic slowies aswell as pop gems. This is probably the shortest track on the album and brings Steve Macks vocal talents to the fore with just him, guitar and occasional percussion - blissful! "Tingle" was another single destined for bigger things. Again the hook gets you and doesn't let go for around 3 minutes of pop genius. The addition of brass is well used and doesn't sound tagged on like numerous other singles. This should have been top 10 and probably would have been had it been pushed a little harder - not even an appearance on the cult prog the Word could help this single take the place it deserved. "Head Staggered" is the only word for it! Ciarans dancy beats and the edgy guitar see this one through - always a live favourite, it still sounds as fresh today as it did 11 years ago. "Abandon" and "Sweet Shiver Burn" bring this album to a close. The first track is another single that should have lit up the charts - again an Andy Weatherall remix was magnificent - if only it had been released now eh? It builds and builds this one until you're surrounded by guitars, pounding drums and crys of Abandon! that leaves you gasping for breath. The final track is incredible. One of the best ballads ever written!! Again Steve Macks vocals are truly excellent and are complimented by a lone snare drum, tambourine, echoed guitar and a shimmering violin. An excellent close to a truly awesome album. Chemicrazy will always be a classic TPE album - each song is a masterpiece in its own right and the singles should have done better. As I said it should have been mega stardom after this but not even the production skills of Scott Litt (R.E.M) and Boys Own remixes could change their fate. TPE were always ahead of their time - if this had been released now then we'd be talking Mercury Music Prize, album of the year etc etc. "Laugh at bad luck let it ride, surfin' on a putrid tide. Disappear without a splash, walk on water talking trash" (Scumsurfin'). TPE rode alot of bad luck in their career and deserve the recognition that befits them. As for talking trash and disappearing without a splash - never! TPE - gone but not forgotten.
Personally, this and "Manic Pop Thril" are the Petrol's albums I enjoy the most.
It's worth and a pleasure to hear songs like the breathless "Blue to black", the magnificent "Sensitize", the heartbreaking "Sweet shiver burn", the sublime "Abandon" and the great rhythm of "Tingle"...
For the devoted fans, I truly recommend this album.