Led by snotty singer-guitarist Brian Hager from local glam rock outfit Vanity Crash, the Chromes evoke the British rock of the '70s on this 5-song debut. You can hear elements of T. Rex as Hager whispers his way through the chug-a-lugging "Little Evil," and the same goes for the stuttering, bluesy "Talk That Walk." "Situation" is simply a stellar power-pop tune. Recorded, mixed and mastered at the Buddha Basement in Brunswick, the album sounds a bit sloppy; vocals sometimes sound as if they're cutting in and out. But despite those glitches, the songs are terrific and have real swagger to them. Even though he's not a powerhouse singer, Hager is a terrific guitar player who holds his own on the microphone. He even successfully takes it down a notch for the somber power ballad "Nothing to Lose." — Jeff Niesel
The Chromes perform with Vanity Crash at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4 at the 5 O'Clock Lounge and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5 at Grillers Pub.