Age of Chance

  • Age of Chance
  • Crush Collision EP (Virgin) 1987 
  • One Thousand Years of Trouble (Virgin) 1987 
  • Mecca (UK Charisma) 1990 

Age of Chance dresses up clamorous British beatbox-metal-pop with colorful, vaguely apocalyptic sloganeering . Despite all the shouting, the Leeds quartet’s biggest problem is the lack of a cohesive identity to match their records’ careening sonic stew. The six-track Crush Collision is generally shrill and undistinguished, but it does include a decent cover of Prince’s “Kiss” (as well as a really awful one of the Trammps’ “Disco Inferno”).

One Thousand Years of Trouble benefits from being more gimmicky and over-the-top, with lots more sampling and an aesthetic that could have been learned from the previous year’s Licensed to Ill. Still, an entire album’s worth of this stuff is pretty grating. You’d be better off going no further than Side Two, song one: the insistent “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Noise?,” which was a small UK hit.

With a fairly soulful new singer (Charles Hutchinson) and more polished songwriting, Mecca is a better focused, more listenable album which, in its own modest way, comes closer than its predecessors to realizing Age of Chance’s idealized sonic melting pot. A more conventional effort, but a more enjoyable one.

[Scott Schinder]