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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Chemistry Set, Pennyblackmusic review

Magazine Review
London’s the Chemistry Set were fuelled by the late 1980's Madchester movement and frequently lauded by the late John Peel. Despite a hiatus in 1991, this quartet’s LP ‘Sounds Like Painting’ (recorded in 1989), brought them back to their attentive fan base when it was finally released in 2008.

Their first single, ‘Don’t Turn Away’ soared up the charts in the UK and Spain, and their current single, ‘Impossible Love,’ which is being released on 7 “ vinyl, is a reminder of their trademark richness.

This six-minute, cinematic wonder is like the scientific “butterfly effect” set to sound. They have successfully merged the psychedelic wistfulness of the 1960s with the contemporary electro-magnetism of the present era.

This epic is six-minutes long and has, at its core, a brilliant, yet unpredictable ambience. At the onset, a tender melody rises and soon merges with thrashing drums. Is that a sitar followed by a thundering bhangra of horns? The variety of instruments used is infinite.

The exquisite melancholia is driven forth by the gravitas of the vocals: “You left me lonely /just waiting there / my heart is broken, you didn’t care.”

These heartfelt vocals rise up in petulant pitch. Amid a steamy swirl of paradoxical grounded madness, the atonal backing vocals flood the senses; both mood-enhancing and mind-expanding, ‘Impossible Love’ takes us happily away from the fast-food, traffic-jammed cultures that saturate our every day lives, and immerses us in sonic beauty.

Lisa Torem

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