Chrome Scaropy CD

As society continues to suck on a tailpipe, you’ve gotta ask yourself: does CHROME age like fine wine? Accompanied by a cast of characters that includes the bassist from CHROME’s early ’80s firebomb heyday, Helios Creed keeps the flame, if not quite burning bright, at least lit. “H Of Spades,” with its tractor-beam guitar set to maximum gravitational pull, seems teleported in from one of his late ’80s AmRep albums. But the majority of Scaropy (oof) is tired goth rock with industrial overtones, like some kinda bargain bin ALIEN SEX FIEND (who already take up plenty of shelf space in the discount aisle). Much of this album sounds like backing tracks for a stripper scene in a straight-to-video dystopian thriller. “An Open Letter” has a decent edge even if its chorus is “I won’t / Take your shit.” As the end approaches, CHROME finally delves into the sounds that first distinguished the group all those years ago. “They’re Coming To Get You” takes an android shuffle and slathers it with the kind of warped voices that is practically a trademark, while “Kilauea” sinks even deeper into paranoid murk. Not a bad batch after all, but far from a triumph.