The biting sounds of grunge and industrial ruled the alternative airwaves in the 1990s, and most of the era's guitarists learned their licks from the Sex Pistols, Zeppelin, Sabbath and Metallica. A fair number, though, were also inspired by the science-fiction paranoia of Helios Creed, who formed the proto-industrialist group Chrome and erected a lengthy discography of over 20 albums (roughly half of them as a solo act) to enforce his standing in the second tier of influential guitarists in his time.
Helios Creed founded Chrome in San Francisco around 1977 with vocalist/drummer Damon Edge, guitarist John Lambdin and bassist Gary Spain. Over the following five years, Chrome explored punk and hardcore, with an increasing reliance on synthesizers, tape loops and samples from TV. The group broke up in 1982, and Creed was dormant for several years until his debut solo album, X-Rated Fairy Tales, appeared in 1985. Another dry spell endured until the end of the decade, when Superior Catholic was released on the Subterranean label. (Both albums were later reissued on one disc.) For his third album Last Laugh, Creed moved to the grunge imprint Amphetamine Reptile. He recorded Boxing the Clown, Kiss to the Brain and Lactating Purple for AmRep, but has also released albums through the industrial label Cleopatra -- including Busting Through the Van Allan, Cosmic Assault and a self-titled album. ~ John Bush