by / February 5th, 2009 /

The Qemists – Join The Q

 1/5 Rating

(Ninja Tune)

Ninja TuneThe Qemists got started, their record-label bio explains, when their three members ‘were playing in a rock band by day, and producing and DJing Drum ‘n’ Bass by night, which led to an inevitable conclusion: why not do both at the same time?’ Well, to be honest, there are lots of reasons. But most of them, for convenience’s sake, have been neatly packaged into this album.

Subtlety is not something that the Qemists are good at. The lead single from the album was ‘Lost Weekend’, a turn-of-the-millennium nu-metal workout with lyrics seemingly transcribed straight from the schoolbag of a nearby adolescent. ‘Got One Life’ is a drum-and-bass horror that not only samples a terrifically-hackneyed piece of classical music but also, mysteriously, namechecks affluent London suburb Stoke Newington, home to many an up-and-coming young marketing executive.

But the Qemists’ woes do not end there. ‘On The Run’, featuring the suspiciously generic-sounding Jenna G., is more ringtone than song and ‘When Ur Lonely’ is exactly as bad as it sounds; although if you needed a soundtrack to a computer game about snowboarding, several years ago, it would be ideal.

In the end, the best reason not to combine rock and drum-and-bass is probably that people already tried it, back around 1998. This album sounds about that old, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the heap of modish, dubsteppy remixes which accompanied recent Wiley-vocalled single ‘Dem Na Like Me’ were commissioned by Ninja Tune mainly to lend the whole enterprise a veneer of relevance, in the hope that nobody would notice.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • Ouch, ooch, Michael. Personally, I loved it; when I play it, I party like it’s, er, 1998.

  • Sounds like Pendulum without the fun?

  • Michael

    I don’t know about Pendulum. But I can say categorically that there is very little fun involved. Not that I want to take away from Johnnie’s party – after all, as I recall, 1998 seemed pretty cutting-edge at the time.

  • Vic

    Someone has got their knickers in a twist!
    I found it to be much more musically interesting and intricate than you are giving it credit for and also a lot of fun.
    An axe to grind Michael or perhaps a failed muso yourself?!

  • This is my favourite opening paragraph since I can’t remember when.

  • personally i completely disagree with this review i think it is a brilliant twist on such a grate genre. in my opinion if you liked pendulums second album then you will like this.

    the only way i can describe this is “Pendulum” but good.

    personally it gets a 8 and a half out of 10 give it a listen i think you will be pleasantly surprised.