Atlanta band Chrome Castle's 'cinematic dream surf' style hints of '60s psychedelia and '80s post-punk

Atlanta band 'Chrome Castle' includes lead guitarist Craig Bennett, rhythm guitarist Robert Lee, bassist Ashley Burton, and drummer John Barnes. (Photo courtesy Chrome Castle)

On WABE’s series “Speaking of Music,” we hear stories from local musicians in their own words. This edition places Atlanta band Chrome Castle in the spotlight, in the words of lead guitarist Craig Bennett. His bandmates include rhythm guitarist Robert Lee, bassist Ashley Burton and drummer John Barnes. The quartet performs instrumental indie rock that they fondly call “cinematic dream surf,” with echoes of ’60s sunshine psychedelia and ’80s post-punk. 

A self-taught guitarist, Bennett emphasizes his natural attraction to melody that drew him to learn guitar and join a band.

“I always liked the concept of being in a band. I like the camaraderie. I like the ‘us against the world’ mentality. I like how a band can become a family, each person depending on the other,” he said.

The sense of unity he prizes shows in the band’s recordings, with laid-back rock grooves offering a possible soundtrack to road trips with the windows down, afternoons on a beach, or happy hour hangs with friends. Spacey reverb and tremolo send Chrome Castle’s surf riffs into dreamlike territory, with Bennett’s melodic lines sprinkling ear candy over each mellow soundscape.

Chrome Castle’s second album is currently in production, expected in 2023. In the meantime, their eponymous debut and an EP called “Forts” are available on Bandcamp. More from the band can be found at and on Instagram at @chromecastle.