Join the Q
Straight outta London!! could be the chorus to Join The Q, a debut that, although difficult to categorise, is in a way quite unique with its drum and bass beats and rock tendencies. It’s hardly surprising then that before remixing Coldcut and Roots Manuva, and doing sound work for Lady Sovereign, the qemical trio of Dan Arnold, Liam Black and Leon Harris were in a rock band and toured Europe together. They have also amassed quite a good little black book of contacts with the likes of Mike Patton, Wiley and Beardyman appearing on various tracks throughout the album.
Things really kick off two tracks in on the heavily rock-influenced ‘Lost Weekend’, opening with classic heavy guitar before Patton gives a great pop-rock delivery/ before getting all down and dirty/ before returning with a big rock chorus. The winning rock fusion theme continues into the next track with BBC Xtra's Jenna G accompanying. Later still, ‘Drop Audio’ has all the feel of Rage Against the Machine with shouted lyrics and pulsating noise engulfing the listener.
Grime hero Wiley adds a bit of dirt to the excellent ‘Dem Na Like Me’, a combination of some really great beats and fine lyrics with Wileys voice adding great kudos and more than just a gloss to the whole song. Lines such as "I was in the club with Amy and Sara, they were popping pills, I was smoke Jack Herer" and "Dem na like me and me na like them" are perfectly delivered for what is sure to be a dancehall hit, and one that could regrettably even be destined for overkill on mainstream radio. Such is the nature of the beast but then the song to immediately follow - S.W.A.G featuring Zoe Love – could carry on filling dancefloors with similar ease.
The closest thing to full on Drum n Bass and the most urban of tracks comes at the very end on ‘The Perfect High’ where the trio clearly show their talents for generating electronic musings, something earlier touch on in ‘Got One Life’. It’s a great way to close a record that is more than just a fusion of Rock and Drum and Bass. With Arnold, Black and Harris taking all they have learned and been influenced by and complementing it with the skills of their friends, Join the Q stands very much alone.