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The Charlatans UK vs. The Chemical Brothers

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Album Review

The Chemical Brothers have always sounded like a shotgun festival being held inside nearby Earsplitting Canyon, so it's more or less what you'd expect as they fire off all sorts of rounds at these Charlatans UK originals. The "aw booty" take on "Toothache" locks into a rude groove while showing a self-depreciating side not seen nearly enough in the Chemical Brothers' LP fare, but the reappearance of it later (twice) kind of dilutes the whole point. Even so, with a staggering, psychedelic 12-gun salute that is the "Nine Acre Dust" remix, it's hard to dwell on the misses for too long. Hoarse, punch-drunk dance detonations are everywhere. A 2000 re-release tacked on the Chemical Brothers' "Patrol" remix, and good thing as its wobbly proto-big beat polish is a treat for either band's discography. Bog-standard B-side filler, you have been warned — the Chemicals have got you in their sights.


Formed: 1989 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For many years, the Charlatans UK were perceived as the also-rans of Madchester, the group that didn't capture the Zeitgeist like the Stone Roses or the band that failed to match the mad genre-bending of the Happy Mondays. Of course, they were more traditional than either of their peers. Working from a Stonesy foundation, the Charlatans added dance-oriented rhythms and layers of swirling organs straight out of '60s psychedelia. At first, the Charlatans had great promise, and their initial singles...
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