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The Chemists - Theories of Dr Lovelock

The Chemists, Theories of Dr Lovelock

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

WHEN the PR describes the debut album from The Chemists as featuring 14 no-holds-barred rock songs, it’s not lying! This one’s loud… but it’s also kind of impressive.

Driven by their combined love for bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Pixies and The Police (not to mention Pearl Jam), Johnny Benn and co have created a blistering debut release that deserves to launch them into the stratosphere.

It’s fun, rousing stuff and shows plenty of diversity for the rock thing. Not every song works… and some are too heavy for their own good. But when they hook it up and get things right, the results are explosive.

The album grabs you from the outset, too, thanks to an intro supplied by the distinct vocals of actor Richard E Grant over the Intro, which sets up the rabble-rousing This City in suitably thrilling fashion.

If that first proper song owes much to the straight-forward radio-friendly power-rock of bands like Foo Fighters, however, then former single and first album highlight Milk & Honey is a real party-starter.

Featuring a buzzy, scuzzy central guitar riff that really is thrilling, the song tells the story of a deluded man who can’t understand why his girlfriend left him, as he believes he’s still the bees-knees! It’s a proper rock anthem and indicative of their passion for all things Queens of the Stone Age.

A Love Like No One Else, if anything, changes pace again to offer a Killers-style stadium thriller that’s more poppy than heavy, complete with rousing chorus, while the brooding intensity of Radio Booth (another former single) offers another surefire winner… building and building until the guitars are really unleashed in spectacularly rousing fashion.

Thereafter, Something For The Weekend offers a proper head-rush tale of weekend debauchery, complete with a husky, lived-in vocal that begs comparisons with Eddie Vedder in places, while Waiting comes over all hazy for a dose of tripped out psychedelia. It’s a nice change of pace again.

The full extent of Benn’s vocal range is displayed on the radio friendly To Die For, which flits playfully and effortlessly from a falsetto more akin to Chris Martin to a chorus that’s pure Pearl Jam. It’s another highlight.

The band really rock out over Tazmanian Devil/Hot In That one-two, with the latter in particular one of the loudest, most screamed offerings late on. But even then, it’s addictive as only a really good and rousing rock song can be.

While the album is rounded off with a fun cover version of Britney Spears’ Toxic, which ends things in fun, poppy, cheeky and happy fashion.

All in all, The Chemists have conspired to concoct a bit of a rock classic for their debut – but one that also boasts crossover appeal. It’s worth tuning in.

Download picks: Milk & Honey, A Love Like No One Else, Radio Booth, Something For The Weekend, Hot In That, To Die For, Toxic

Track listing:

  1. Intro
  2. This City
  3. Milk And Honey
  4. Love Like No One Else, A
  5. Radio Booth
  6. Hear Our Song
  7. Something For The Weekend
  8. Waiting
  9. To Die For
  10. Tazmanian Devil
  11. Hot In That
  12. Bit Of Education, A
  13. Outro
  14. Toxic