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Unpredictable as always

The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers - Push the Button
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: April 26, 2005

Review by Andy Argyrakis

On the surface, groups like as Public Enemy, Cabaret Voltaire, The Beastie Boys and My Bloody Valentine may only share shreds of commonality, but throw them together in a blender and out pops a danceable rap/rock amalgamation. When aspiring DJs Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons met at a Manchester college in the late 1980s, that's exactly the potion they threw together and it's one that still stands strong a decade and a half later. It took some time for The Chemical Brothers' sail to catch wind, first relying on local campus hang outs and clubs, but with constant refinement transformed into a stadium sized electronic act in the U.K. The group's latest offering Push the Button maintains the grassroots, no rules mindset of the early days, while still pumping up the sounds to fill up any of the most massive parties known to man.
Just take a listen to the disc's lead track "Galvanize" and it's one of the many instances in which this point is proven. The track organically combines funk imbedded grooves and raps from special guest Q-Tip with a middle eastern influenced, synthesized central nervous system. Computer generated machinegun blasts resound regularly throughout "The Boxer," which features the incongruent in comparison yet equally enjoyable and appropriate Brit-pop vocals of Tim Burgess. Along similar sonic lines and U.K. influence is "Believe," known primarily for special singing guest Kele Okereke (of Bloc Party fame)
Also in shotgun for the bass-rattling ride are the piercing pulsations and dagger sharp thump arrangements of "Hold Tight London" and the techno meets disco seasoning of "The Big Jump." There's only a pair of performances that fall into the slightly less appealing category, and that's mostly because they take on a sparse and scaled back approach when measured up against the aforementioned. "Left Right" gets clogged with the mildly repetitive raps of Anwar, while "Close Your Eyes" is filled with droned backbeats and definitely redundant accompaniment by The Magic Numbers. Even so, The Chemical Brothers remain as unpredictable and unpretentious as always, cultivating a collection of devilishly danceable compositions to keep the masses moving.

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