By : Steph Lafume
5 min read
CHEMICAL X: LET THERE BE RAGE!
Released on October 1st, Chemical X is hella fitting for this spooky season. Racking up to 17 tracks with 38 minutes and 52 seconds of playtime, Chemical X is pretty compact. Chemical X is a peek into the dark vortex that is Retro Gmt’s mind as he journeys through the realms and dimensions of Planet X. Within the mind of the Prince of Rage Retro GMT, you will find his deepest fears and fantasies, heart breaks, but most importantly—his rage. Throughout the album Retro is accompanied by an entourage of unnamed comical homies with frequent appearances on the project's transitions. All of this is facilitated by the illusive and mysterious substance Chemical X.
The project begins with a robotic warning to the listener, letting them know what they are getting into: “A world like no other, where they unveil the covers of reality and there they create a world of dreams. Be warned; everything you see is still real.” It then transitions right into the first song: a banger Chemical X. Throughout the project there are A LOT of bangers and Chemical X sets the tone. But as you get deeper into the album, the songs get darker and darker. What makes Retro and Chemical X stand out though is the abundance of punk rock inspired tracks. The songs are really good and dive deeper into Retros' struggles with the darkness and his mental health. Some stand-out songs are “Forever & After,” “Y,” and “Die Alive”. Here’s a line from his interlude as an example of what discusses on the project: “Pain comes in too many forms to count… But will you overcome that pain or will you let it consume you?”
Chemical X is full of ragers and bangers, sorrowful ballads and vulnerable self- reflection. Retro is electric with his energy and flow, each bar is round, and the clip is never ending. The production is consistently dynamic in instrument choice and variation, full of dark melodies and psychedelic synth that allow you to see that this project was a labor of love and time. Retro has successfully created a project that places the listener in his shoes and mind, experiencing every step he took between high and lows of his journey. This album will leave you feeling reflective on your darkness and perhaps where it plays a role in your life. Overall Retro is on the way to putting his hometown Brockton on the map if he continues to make quality, standout music.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #152 November 2022
Check out all the art and columns of November's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass