The Last Laugh – Album Review
Unhinged Magazine #7
September 1990

Anyone who recalls the savage, searing guitar playing on early Chrome records such as ‘Alien Soundtracks’ and ‘The Visitation’ which came too hard to find and too close to punk to make the impact for titanium hard rocking that I hoped for on hearing that first LP. Chrome degenerated (if you’ll accept my bias) into being a synthesizer band – oh I can see the reasoning and attraction behind that move, the allure of reaching for strange tonal potentials that only synths can achieve, the trouble with synths is that they aren’t rock n’ roll – the times they’ve been used successfully in rock are rare, Eno with Roxy Music, the early Pere Ubu, more often it’s been dull Tangerine Dream stuff. But that search for strange tonalities is still here and with ‘The Last Laugh’ Helios Creed has again turned to stretching the sound he can get out of the six strings. He’s teamed up with Daniel House on bass and Jason Finn on drums and always nomadic (lives in a bus) they’re out in America on tour. This LP is full of guitar as a groundbreaking instrument and I suspect you hardly ever think of safe, old, noisy guitar in that light anymore. The basic guitar sound is distorted out of all recognition and then Helios sings like he was gargling dentist drills as they spin. The opening track shows his range, it’s an untitled 3 song medley; a jackhammer assault, ‘Some Way Out’; then an echoey drifter ‘The Dream’; then a twisted and demented guitar and snarling up his nose, naturally called ‘The Diplomat’. ‘Nirbasion Annasion’, which also appears on the Crunchouse compilationis repeating patterns of shrouded voice and seesawing bass topped by some flying, easternmost guitar, in the most memorable track, an uncomfortable psychedelia  with occasional flashed of Hendrix, but mostly like sheets of metal.