No More Idols
Chase And Status should be as easy to write off as acts like Pendulum. The mass frenzy of their gigs resembles a Nuremberg Rally on goofballs. And, despite cannily wedding digi-bass to slick melody as producers for Rihanna and, erm, Alexandra Burke, their shtick so often relies upon lazily dropping a megaton bomb of happy hardcore-ish synths and attempting to take the listener’s earholes by force.
So no surprises that the first half of second album No More Idols is clunky, musical machismo. Most of it walks a fine line between D&B and metal, with the rapid-fire rawk guitar workout and relentless, thunderous beat of ‘Fool Yourself’, a virtual musical interpretation of a fist fight at a frat party. But halfway through, the musical warfare becomes a campaign for hearts and minds. The wealth of collaborations pay off, as ‘Hitz’ sees Tinie Tempah skipping all over a loose, funky breakbeat with an aplomb often lacking on his own material, and ‘Heavy’ not only manages to be Dizzee Rascal’s first grime track since 2007’s ‘Showtime’, but lays out a stunning 21st-century template for an update on the genre, via a symphony of clicks, whirrs and a bassline so heavy that Silvio Brante could use it to make boots.
The stuttering electro-tinged bro-step of ‘Brixton Briefcase’ has Cee-Lo Green adopting a curiously bombastic delivery, and his Caribbean inflection leaves him sounding like Eddy Grant doing the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and at points (‘Time’, ‘Flashing Lights’) things strike out for a Magnetic Man-esque crisp, techie raviness (until a humungous bassline inevitably wobbles in like a sumo wrestler riding a washing machine). Their collaborations with Clare Maguire and White Lies even manage sparseness. And that surely proves the breadth of their palette. Now if only they could manage it for more than half an album…