ALBUM: The Qemists – Spirit In The System

Release Date: August 16th, 2010
Label: Ninja Tune


So seriously, when the hell did Pendulum transform from the 3-piece drum and bass group you hear on debut ‘Hold Your Colour’ into the full band we now have on ‘In Silico’ and ‘Immersion’? Granted they are both entirely different beasts, but it doesn’t take a fool to see that even though now their music is more refined and precise, ‘Hold Your Colour’ still remains their best album. Following in the same sort of genre is Brighton drum & bass band The Qemists.

Instead of going into a full band like the aforementioned Australian group, The Qemists have remained the same 3-piece as they were with album number two, ‘Spirit In The System’. Though probably known a little more to the public for their remixes with bands like Enter Shikari, with their own material they’re more than capable of giving Pendulum a run for their money.

A hurricane of an opener, ‘Take It Back’ features the band’s trancecore friends Enter Shikari, really bringing in the punches early on for powerful and impressive first impressions. ‘Renegade’ with upcoming grime artist Maxsta keeps proceedings fast and intense, looping the heavily altered “I’m a renegade / I’m a rebel / Don’t worry about me” hook and supporting his rapped verses with a soft dub-step pulse.

It’s not all upside-down frowns though, with the album taking a slight turn in the wrong direction with ‘The Only Love Song’ and ‘Life’s Too Short’, slowing down the speed and excitement the album holds which really dampens its sound and impact. Thankfully ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Your Revolution’ soon follow after and kick life and spirit back into the system.

If you’re a fan of early Pendulum, or you just like a bit of drum and bass, electro, dub-step or any other form of electronica then The Qemists are definitely ones to check out. In a system that is getting more dull by the day this sophomore could very much bring back its much needed spirit.

Written by Zach Redrup