Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

The Chemical Brothers 

Come With Us (Astralwerks)

The Chemical Brothers' trip has been neither particularly long nor all that strange. In fact, each of the duo's four albums since 1995's Exit Planet Dust -- including the new Come With Us -- has been an extension and logical progression of its predecessor. From the electro-rock extravaganza of the Chemicals' commercial breakthrough Dig Your Own Hole to the psychedelic mind-trappings of Surrender, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons have played each album as a calculated move in a not-so-chancy game of cards in which they hold winning hands.

And so it should come as little surprise that there are plenty of big beats on Come With Us. Attempting to lift itself from the techno gutter it helped construct (must every single car commercial play out over raging electronica these days?), Surrender was spacey, spotty, and somber -- not necessarily a bad thing. On Come With Us, the Chemicals dive back in, overjoyed, euphoric, and intoxicated by the prospects. There are some down cuts here (as well as a couple of pointless vocal tracks featuring frequent collaborator Beth Orton and the mopey Richard Ashcroft, whose performance on "The Test" is supposed to be all dreamy, but actually comes closer to being way tiresome), but this is mostly about the beat.

And what beats they are! The loopy "It Began in Afrika" is driven by the most natural percussion the guys have ever used. And "Star Guitar" unfolds over a building rhythm that makes it sound a bit Daft Punky in its open-armed embrace of disco culture. These are two of the better moments on an album that sort of sets itself up as the new-millennium Chemical Brothers. But it's a similar story in the end. Same Tom and Ed. Same block-rockin' beats.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Kiry Shabazz @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Jan. 27
  • Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood @ Packard Music Hall

    • Thu., Jan. 27
  • Soul Message Band Featuring Chris Foreman @ Bop Stop

    • Fri., Jan. 28

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation