In a time that has seen alternative British music on its biggest high in years, it is becoming increasingly difficult for up and coming bands to be making their mark in the scene. However, London based four piece The One Hundred have done exactly that with their unique sound jumping across genres, from grime and electronic to hard hitting metalcore and they demonstrate this seamlessly with debut album ‘Chaos and Bliss’.
Leaving no room to dwindle, opener ‘Dreamcatcher’ blasts the doors wide open with pulsating drum beats and heavy guitar riffs, beautifully complimenting the gruelling screams of vocalist Jacob Field. Combined with a chorus of “you don’t like what I say? It doesn’t matter anyway!”, Dreamcatcher is the perfect example of what this band can achieve. A new breed; a new generation with a fuck you attitude.
Having been teasing the album for almost two years, many fans will already know some tracks, with ‘Monster’ and ‘Dark Matters’ being the two prominent singles released to date and ‘Disengage’ having been a popular live track since 2015. To say that the three tracks are “the same One Hundred sound” would criminally undermine the songs as individual singles, as well as key features within the album’s structure. Whereas singles ‘Monster’ and ‘Dark Matters’, released in February and April respectively, give Field the chance to demonstrate his powerful vocal range and even more impressive writing style, ‘Disengage’ is guitarist Tim Hider’s time to shine, offering what is hands down the best riff of the record, all of which offering just a small token of the variety The One Hundred are capable of.
There is not much to say about interlude track ‘Fake Eyes’ other than it offers a brief insight into some of the band’s electronic influences, whilst offering a welcome mid-album breather before plunging into punishing track ‘Hand of Science’. Leaving no room for rest, it is carnage from go and is sure to become a live staple to drum up any crowd in any venue into a manic frenzy. The song also offers a rare insight into the potentially political side of the band, with frontman Field offering his take on the science vs religion debate, with hard hitting lines like “so they’ve got something to believe in. Well motherfucker, believe in this!” before throwing out a crushing breakdown to truly cement the boys in their metalcore origins.
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The energy does not dwindle in upbeat party track ‘Boomtown’, moving away from the metal element of the band’s music and more towards their rap rock influences but losing none of the tenacity that has been a constant throughout the album so far. However, if ‘Boomtown’ is to change the theme, follow up track ‘Blackjack’ shows a whole new side to the rap metal pioneers. Whilst clean vocals in a catchy chorus are a welcome feature, the tinned American accent simply does not suit the band, particularly after Field’s opening rap, dripping with the common British attitude that gives the band their unique sound.
The same problem falls over the next tracks, with ‘Retreat’ offering up more of the band’s distinctive British accents; a unique and refreshing feature in modern music but losing all idea of that with ‘Who Are We Now’, leaving the remainder of the track feeling like it needs to regain the attitude again.
Luckily that comes back in full force with title track ‘Chaos and Bliss’ opening with a pounding riff that would not seem out of place on an early Need For Speed soundtrack, giving a tasteful nod to the band’s nu metal roots without trying to re-hash a now 20 year old genre, whilst delivering that London character in full force, more than making up for its absence in previous songs.
Like flicking a switch, the band switch smoothly from this to grime driven finisher Feast, opening with a rap verse that wouldn’t seem out of place in a BBK set, before once again throwing in a metalcore drop, just to remind listeners that this band is a powerhouse not to be messed with.
‘Chaos and Bliss’ delivers what can be expected from The One Hundred and so much more, demonstrating to any listener that they are just scratching the surface of their potential and have so much more to offer.
‘Chaos and Bliss’ is out now via Spinefarm Records. The full track-listing for the album is as follows…
Hand Of Science
Who We Are Now
Chaos + Bliss