The searing dance single "Chemical Beats" starts off with an ominous, alarming loop before it's overtaken by a hard-edged guitar riff--the type that Beavis & Butt-head might emulate with their air-instrumental enthusiasm. The song continues to build, adding a funky cowbell and relentless bass. And then there's a simple sample: "Uh," it says, over and over. "Uh."
Throw your fists in the air and bow your long hair. With this 12-inch single in 1994, the Chemical Brothers, a young duo from Manchester, England, firmly established that dance music can actually rock--hard. Though others have tried to prove this point, from Afrika Bambaataa and Run-DMC to MC 900 Ft. Jesus and God Lives Underwater, the Chemicals have driven it home--and to America--with 1995's critically acclaimed crossover "Exit Planet Dust" and with the current dance-core EP "Loops of Fury."
With "Exit," which includes the bombastic "Chemical Beats," the Chemicals created a new formula for techno-meets-rock and proved they were more than a formula band, producing songs with more traditional pop structure, organic instruments and even human vocals (from the likes of Tim Burgess from the Charlatans, who sings the KROQ-friendly "Life Is Sweet").