Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr The four men behind Rudimental make some of the best cross-over pop/dance jams in the world, yet they remain largely unknown in the United States. Born from the long history of drum and bass and junglists across the pond, the Hackney-based collective jumped to the top of the UK pop charts in mid-2013 with their debut Home, and continue to reinforce that position with fresh collaborations featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, the late Bobby Womack and MNEK on sophomore LP, We the Generation. Even after the rise of dubstep and festival trap, the frenetic energy behind drum and bass has remained under-appreciated stateside. Flourishing in the UK due to their ability to contort drum and bass’s notorious Amen break into easily-digestible textures complete with a hum-along vocal presence, Rudimental’s signature sound has taken a distant backseat to the exploits of American EDM theorists like Skrillex and Diplo. Akin to their American contemporaries, Rudimental’s web of influence expands significantly across these new singles. Despite the increased jazz stylings, serene R&B undertones, expanded string arrangements and soulful vocal harmonies all working in tandem with an intermittent pummeling low-end, the album is as safe as one would expect from a title intent on reaching the top of the chart. Had it been drum and bass and not UK garage that commanded worldwide audiences over the past few years, it would be natural to ponder if Rudimental would have still undergone their meteoric rise, like Disclosure. While the club-influenced anthems pulse in different paths, their tactics are largely similar: evolve a classic UK sound for a fresh audience that remains innocuous enough for a radio-listening base, infuse familiar riffs onto electronic textures and collaborate with multiple guest vocalists to further increase their reach. Sans collaborators, the disc’s instrumentals are infectious enough to properly work into any light dancehall or bassline house set — the crew did relocate to Jamaica to soak up the island vibes and cut the record. But while the stand-alone deep house melodies of “Rumour Mill” might only attract a room of a few hundred old-school shufflers, and the breaks within the beauty of the title-cut will clear the unsuspecting dancefloor, their rework of Sheeran’s “Bloodstream” and “Rumor Mill” (featuring Anne-Marie and Will Heard) both have that harmless drive-time energy that so many casual listeners forever crave. While their debut hit was a challenge to the pop/underground divide, We The Generation’s 18-track deluxe edition is a net (albeit a meticulously manufactured one) for securing the largest market possible. That tactic is deepened by benign lyrics that rarely go beyond the topics of middle school poetry. Which pretty much guarantees you’ll be reciting most of Will Heard’s choruses — though likely off tune — if you make it through a second listen. Like Skrillex’s new work with Justin Bieber and BLOOD, Rudimental’s approach alongside MNEK on “Common Emotion” is an ear-pleasing, near-universal ode to man’s basic interpersonal relationships. It’s a a single that will appease most within the first few bars, but it lacks emotive depth or spirited delivery. No disrespect meant to Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, DJ Locksmith and Amir Armor. As a collective, they are as skilled as any producer mentioned above. But Rudimental’s lack of chart success in the US is an example of a peculiar volatility of international tastes in pop music. While so many of the elements align between We The Generation, Disclosure’s Caracal and the forthcoming collaboration from Justin Bieber/Skrillex/Blood, the former will remain largely unheard by the American masses still jumping onto the EDM-pop hybrid. Fortunately, due to their ongoing success in their home country, the sound has the chance to eventually make it way to the U.S in full force.