It’s hard to believe Eugene McGuinness is on his fourth album already. Having dropped The Lizards as his supporting band, Chroma instead finds its rhythm section from Tom Herbert and Leo Taylor of The Invisible. Could Chroma be the album that sees McGuinness break into the indie rock mainstream?
Well it certainly gives it a go. It’s easy to see why album opener Godiva has been chosen as the lead single for the album, with it’s bright, ominous riff and lilting vocals.
There are some great enchanting rising vocals and harmonies in Immortals, which makes the one use of a swearword all the more shocking and noticeable. You’re jolted right back out of the 60’s vibe it encompasses, and back into a time where it’s acceptable to drop an f-bomb mid song. Then play changes a bit with slower-tempo more ballad-y track All In All. It seems like a love song from the outside, but the lyrics actually showcase a much darker tone.
Elsewhere, the bass line and cowbell use in Milkshake jazz up an otherwise easy-to-miss sing-along pop song. It’s a great piece of easy-listening music which harks back to the days of diners with jukeboxes. Tracks like The Crueller Kind follow this sort of easy going mentality, with more harmonious choruses and mid-tempo riffs.
Standout tracks are definitely Deception of the Crush and Amazing Grace. The latter has sort of a Maximo Park quality about it, although lacking Paul Smith’s sharp, accented vocals, it has the same sort of driving bass lines and in your face chorus.
Chroma is a perfect summer album – one to stick on while you’re sitting in the garden basking in the sunshine. It’s full of great indie rock with that gentle sunny-day feeling, cloaked with nostalgia and a lace of the 60’s. If you love mid-tempo beats, ear-pleasing harmonies and infectious choruses that get stuck in your head for days after, then this one is definitely for you.This could finally be McGuinness’ time to shine.