Album Review: Chase and Status – Brand New Machine

8 April 2014

By Sophie

The electronic duo from London always seems to have something up their sleeve. Whether it be being the most memorable performance from Reading and Leeds entire line up or embarking on a spontaneous arena tour around the UK, Chase and Status are always on the scene. After the success of No More Idols in 2011, it’s not surprising that there were big boots for Brand New Machine to fill. Their distinctive sound, mixing dance music with rock, is a one people seem to love and it seems to be working so far. Three singles are already under their belt from this record and at this rate it doesn’t seem like they’re stopping anytime soon.

“Gun Metal Grey” gives a creepy tone to the album from the offset and accompanied by the husky rapper’s voice, it really send a shiver up your spine. The track almost feels like its alluding to something bigger, and this is shown in the penultimate bass drop. All of Chase and Status’ tracks give a sense of release when they finally give the drop you’ve been craving for the whole track, and it’s always amazing. The second track, “International”, gives the same Caribbean vibes that “No Problem” did on “No More Idols” without making the two tracks too similar. The whole track seems live and pumped with energy, you could easily imagine raving to it for hours on end and never getting tired as the siren rings against your ears. The album is already off to a promising start by this point. One of the first released singles, “Count on Me” follows on the record and again pumps you with the energy you need after you’re exhausted from “International”. The lyrics buzz through your head as they bounce along with the disco type beats. The album doesn’t seem to have a down moment by track four. “Blk & Blu” drops hip hop beats and accompanies quite heartfelt lyrics with a catchy beat to bring us into the album. It’s impossible to passively listen to the album; you’ll end up just getting sucked in anyway. The act’s track with similar electro stars Major Lazor follows.  This song sounds like the love child of the two groups with Major Lazor’s mellower but still prominent beats mixed with Chase and Status’ electronic drops making the track the ultimate chill tune.

“Machine Gun” follows featuring the talents of Pusha T, the rapper typically sings about his luxurious lifestyle which would leave a rather sour taste in anyone’s mouth at first glance but the drop saves the track. The actual sound of machine guns being used makes the track more punchy and raw; almost promoting it to the title of best track on the album thus far. The album hits a lower point with “Gangsta Boogie” as yet another pointless rapper rudely interrupts the track and takes away from the beat which was full of potential. The track isn’t awful, it just can’t be said to be a highlight of Chase and Status’ career. Everything becomes a lot more relaxed and slowed down as Elli Ingram belts the lyrics of “Heaven Knows” with the duo’s slow beat accompanying her. They give you the come down you need when preparing for the second half of the album, the last chorus rebooting things back into place as screaming amps blast the track; one of the best. The first single released from the record, “Lost and Not Found” follows and makes up for all that lost energy in “Heaven Knows”. You can’t help but jump around to the beat as Louis M^ttrs belts out “We’re fading away, lost and not found”. The track seems to come to a modest ending, but not before one final screaming chorus. This track has to be a hit, easily.

The tenth track, “Like That” has strong 90s’ vibes. The mix of the classic tunes with Chase and Status style modern beats leaves us wondering why they haven’t done this before. The tune is killer and the gradual build releases lots of tension at the end when the track finally drops for the final time and makes it a little more satisfying as the song draws to a close. “Deeper Devotion” has ever stronger 90s’ vibes, suggesting this is the way the duo want to go in the future. Although the melody is not as memorable as that in “Like That”, the strong beat still follows us through to the end of the track and merrily skips us through the album. The beginning of “Breathing” sounds like it’s straight off an MC album the strong female vocals suggest otherwise. This track is a nice little filler bringing us towards the album’s close. It’s probably best just to skip this one though as it seems a little too reminiscent of the preceding track. The album returns to its hip hop core in “What Is Right” and gives just the right amount of energy without taking too much away from the final track. A little too bland though in comparison to the earlier tracks. “Alive” draws the album to a close and makes us glad we made it through the last few tracks to hit this gem. The male voice guides us through the track as more and more layers are gradually added in with symbols and drum beats. The drop is perfect; the fast beat leading up to it makes it the most memorable on the album. There was no other way to finish the record. Despite a few tracks being carbon copies of each other, it seems Chase and Status have lived up to their reputation with this album. There’s no doubt every track will sound amazing with the duo and guests bouncing around on the stage live; brilliant work.


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