"Join The Q" dropped in 2009 and came as the debut album from The Qemists. Brighton-based, the Drum & Bass act started as a Rock band before a trio amongst them decided to turn towards the Electronica genre. As a result, here we find an act, in a similar vain to Pendulum's work (before they lost their DnB elements), where a Drum & Bass act take on Rock influences and come up with a commercially-friendly sound for mainstream listeners.
1. "Stomp Box"
The act get the album off to a great start as here we see that they kick things off with a high-powered tune and one that gives a nice understanding of what we should expect from them as we get a piece that has them injecting the Hard Rock into the set before pushing the Breakbeats in and breaking things down. It's a nice experimental piece to set things off and indicate where things are to be taken.
2. "Lost Weekend"
One of their more popular joints, here we have another pretty big one and another which doesn't quite fit in with expectations of straight-forward Drum & Bass as we find that here they incorporate some live instrumentals into the set as they get into things. We find that we get raw, Rock vocals alongside the thing and so it seems to make for a tune down in the Electro-Rock style before they break things down and go off.
3. "On The Run"
The percussion rips away at the start of this one to indicate that here we are in for much more typical Drum & Bass. In knowledge of an appearance from Jenna G, it seems to build upon these thoughts of a much more straight-forward piece from them and it seems as though this comes from them here as they blast out a nice piece (but one which may be a bit too Pendulum-like for some).
4. "Dem Na Like Me"
They are seen to change the direction of things here as we see that for this one they decide to go for something that I'd consider to be quite risky in that we see that it has them trying to push forward some spacey Jungle, but they do it without actually incorporating the trippy breaks that you tend to associate with that kind of thing and instead think that faux-Reggae will suffice. In addition to this, we're given vocals from the Grime MC Wiley but I didn't think that it really did what they intended for it to achieve.
5. "S.W.A.G." (Intro)
After we come off an interlude designed to set the scene up for this one, we see that we're pushed into an energetic piece and one which is designed purer for club play. I have to say that this sort of Drum and Bass just really wasn't to my tastes at all as we find that they come through with a little something that takes on far too much of the commercial sound which isolates them from the true Baseheads who support this genre.
7. "Drop Audio"
Here they come up with a tune that has them able to recover to some degree after a couple of rather weak ones. Although this one still has the sort of sound which sets the apart from the core Drum and Bass scene (as it is much more Dance/Electronica with Breakbeats incorporated into it that true Drum and Bass), it sounds decent and can be considered to be an average one, but nothing more than this.
8. "When Ur Lonely"
The way that this one starts up shows us that we're in for something exciting as we get Breakbeats which hit hard and show that they're moving right away from the kind of thing heard on others through the album where it really wasn't enough to impress. I thought that this was a raw piece and gets you in the mood that they intend you to be in and as a result picks things up a little for them.
9. "Soundface" (Lude)
10. "Got One Life"
After a quick track where Beardyman takes over and shows off his beatboxing skills, we see that here we are taken into another of the weaker tunes from the album and one that has them getting back towards the risky experimentation. I felt that it was just a real effort to try to connect to the music which is offered here as it didn't seem to flow too well at all and it meant that it just took forever to get into.
11. "Perfect Life"
They end the album off with this one as they come with a tune design to close things off and bring things to a relevant end. I found that with it, we were given a little something that I considered to be quite generic from them and it reminds you that they didn't return back towards the Rock-influenced stuff which they used heavily at the opening of the album and did nothing but water this down for the rest of it.
I found that although the album started off in quite an exciting way, it seemed to just tire out very quickly and become quite boring after a rather short space of time. I'd expect fans of Pendulum to be into this one, but true fans of Drum and Bass won't really find too much for their tastes as nothing much happens here and it seems to have too many flaws to it along the way.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Lost Weekends
3 On the Run - Jenna G, The Qemists
4 Dem Na Like Me - The Qemists,
5 S.W.A.G. (Intro)
7 Drop Audio
8 When Ur Lonely
10 Got One Life - MC Navigator, The Qemists
11 Perfect High