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Chemistry Experiment - Interstellar Autumn

  by John Clarkson

published: 22 / 12 / 2005

Chemistry Experiment - Interstellar Autumn
Label: Fortuna POP!
Format: CDS


Playful new EP from ever-enterprising Nottingham-based indiepop group the Chemistry Experiment, the main track of which blends Justin Hayward's 'Forever Autumn' with Pink Floyd's 'Interstellar Overdrive'

Of all the acts on indiepop label Fortuna Pop !, The Chemistry Experiment are the most diverse. Their four-years-in-the-making debut album, 'The Melancholy Death of The Chemistry Experiment', which was released at the beginning of last year, was a lushly stunning montage of prog-rock, folk, electronica and 70's disco sounds. While that album was often brooding and very dark, its follow-up, 25 minute 5 song EP, 'Interstellar Autumn', reveals in contrast a more humorous and up-beat side to the Nottingham-based quintet. The title track merges together Justin Hayward's classic 1978 ballad 'Forever Autumn' from Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds' soundtrack, with Pink Floyd's instrumental psychedelic jam 'Interstellar Overdrive' from their 1967 album 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'. Initially conceived as a one-off live performance, and then recorded after audience reaction to it proved surprisingly strong, 'Interstellar Autumn' is undoubtedly clever, taking the much abused concept of the musical medley, and then playfully twisting it by blending together seamlessly two well-known, but rarely-recorded and radically different covers. It is, however, on the next two tracks that The Chemistry Experiment particularly prove their flexibility as a group. 'You're the Prettiest Thing', one of the stand-out tracks on 'The Melancholy Death of The Chemistry Experiment', is a swooning Northern Soul disco anthem with Chic-style atmospherics about love on the dance floor. 'Karin' meanwhile is a breezy, orchestral pop number, which despite uptempo beats and rattling guitars and synthesisers, captures with an angst-torn vocal from singer Steven J. Kirk the helpless agony of watching the love of your life go off with someone else. The last two tracks though are a disappointment. 'Belts and Shoelaces' is a cover of a song by label mates The Butterflies of Love, which adds cheesy dance beats and a hazy vocoder to the original track. With a musing lyric about terrorism and the police state, one can't fault The Chemistry Experiment for wanting to try something different, but it , however, all comes across as somewhat inappropriate. The final song meanwhile is a radio edit of 'Forever Autumn' which adds little to the original, and after 'Interstellar Autumn' seems anti-climatic. One has to admire The Chemistry Experiment,however, for all its flaws, for the constant scale of their ambition and ability to experiment and take risks. Frequently thrilling, 'Interstellar Autumn' shows them to be one of most innovative acts on the current British indiepop scene.

Track Listing:-
1 Interstellar Autumn
2 You're The Prettiest Thing
3 Karin
4 Belt And Shoelaces
5 Forever Autumn (Radio Edit)

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