After moving to Seattle in December 2003, I started frequenting Easy Street and Sonic Boom Records. I’d spend hours looking through old records, listening to bands I’d never heard of, and carrying around large stacks of soon-to-be-purchased (or put back) merchandise. On occasion I would pick up something cold, having never listened to the album, just because the cover looked intriguing or the price was pleasing. Chromatics‘ Plaster Hounds was one of these grabs and came on purple swirl vinyl for a mere $6.49. I immediately fell in love with “Garden.”
Two years later, I picked up their Nite 12” Single on CD (what a concept) while grabbing albums to review for KZUU. Side A of the single includes the original of “Nite” as well as instrumental and acapella versions while Side B has “The Guest” and “Glass Slipper.” The group lists “Nite” as their ‘smash hit,’ but the B-Side tracks match the A in force. Though “The Guest” takes a while to get started, it follows more closely Plaster Hounds than “Nite” through its minimalism. “Glass Slipper” leaves some of the minimalism behind but adds repetitive electronic vocals for a gothic trance-like sound.
The instrumental and acapella tracks are the only ones not on Chromatics’ upcoming album Shining Violence, making the single almost not worthwhile as these tracks are simply the division of the original “Nite” split between the two sections—instruments and voice. For hardcore fans of Chromatics who must own every release or those testing new waters, the Nite 12” is a worthy purchase. They’ve come a long way since Plaster Hounds and Chrome Rats. But for the average fan who is likely to pick up Shining Violence when it hits stores, I’d recommend picking up a copy of the new Cock and Swan instead.
This review was originally published June 14, 2006 on the old version of FensePost.
Troubleman Unlimited [12″ Single, 2006]
1. Nite (Original)
2. Nite (Instrumental)
3. Nite (A Capella)
4. The Guest
5. Glass Slipper