Clay: Two concerts, a video game for your smartphone, pop songs with subjects ranging from alien invasions to vagabond robots and a rousing cover of the Ronette’s “Be My Baby.” At this point, I would not be surprised by any direction Denver’s electropop darlings Chemistry Club take; they could cover “C is for Cookie” and I would not even bat an eyelash.
So what about an EP that is the first installment of a four part sci-fi concept album about failing planets, interstellar resource allocation, and rebellion? Yeah, sounds about right. What I wasn’t expecting was a tightly structured step-off into a compelling rock opera. I know I just said “electropop” five minutes ago, but the riffs and hooks are straight out of everything that was great about 70s/80s rock.
Greg: While I haven’t had quite the in-depth experience with Chemistry Club, just being within a relative distance of anyone who likes their music (Read: “Clay”) I definitely know of their work.
Now to use the word “darling” and Chemistry Club seems quite the abstract concept when listening to Copia 1: The Electric Hush, but if you’re new to the band or you have been following them for some time, as mentioned, you will basically submit yourself to their sound without much care at all.
Clay: Well, they make it easy since their music has such a hook to it that you want to come up with snappy one-liners like “someone call an epidemiologist, because this beat is infectious!” But take that ability to make a song burrow into your conscious thought, then add a broad ambitious sound like the layers in “Like Lions” and I have a soundtrack for my life. I mean, remedial tasks like building a spreadsheet in Excel or going to fill up my car with gas immediately become the coolest things ever.
Greg: “Someone call an epidemiologist, because this beat is infectious!” – and on that note, good night!
Saying that Chemistry Club is a soundtrack to making anything the coolest thing ever is a perfect way to explain their music. If you’re like me, at first you’ll get the “oh this is really good stuff” feeling, followed by the “holy hell, ‘Like Lions’ is fantastic,” then you’ll ask “what kind of Damian Kulash spawn is performing on ‘Cleanup Crew’?”
But if these feelings persist for more than four hours, don’t bother calling a doctor, just take another dose of Chemistry Club
Clay: Not to take anything away from the other three tracks, especially all the humanity that is poured into the lyrics of the upbeat pop track “A Particle of Light.” Each piece tell a great tale of planets literally falling apart and set up a really intriguing larger story over four installments. The thing that makes me nervous is that “Like Lions” and “Cleanup Crew” set the bar a little high for the remaining releases and that, fairly or unfairly, we will be comparing everything against them (See: The Killers – Hot Fuss).
I’m going to try and remain optimistic since every release seems to get better and better, but for every sweet guitar solo from “Cleanup Crew,” you have Wiencrot rhyming “war” with “war” and “reason” with “reason” on “At War.” I wasn’t a fan when the Beastie Boys did it on “Pass the Mic” and that was one of my favorite albums of ever.
Greg: While there may be hesitation with the yet-to-be-heard pieces of this epic, it should be noted that Chemistry Club was in the same thought as The Killers and Beastie Boys. So it shouldn’t matter whatcha, whatcha want, or even if we’re human or if we’re dancer, what matters is that Copia 1: The Electric Hush is an immensely successful stepping stone in what could possibly be a fantastic legacy of rock fusion.
But that is all to be determined at this point. What we don’t need to understand, however, is that there are five stellar tracks which paint an intriguing storyline backed by quite a collection of talent.
Copia 1: The Electric Hush comes out 12/5 – you can preorder here
Clay and Greg co-founded Nanobot and have a love for rock, early Killers and Beastie Boys albums and one-liners.