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Etienne Machine – Over & Out Review

Dark dystopian rock full of broken anthems to dance into oblivion with.

What does Etienne Machine sound like?

The review of Etienne Machine – Over & Out

Etienne Machine are a band I stumbled across by complete accident and I already wonder where they’ve been in my life until now. The group definitely create dark alt-rock but there is an emphasis on trip-hop drum beats and dystopian synths. Etienne Machine are muddy, messy and rustic and their brand of apocalypse rock clicked with me on the very first listen.

Etienne Machine photo
Etienne Machine

“Over & Out” is their new EP and the Swiss duo hand out a nice spread of tracks. “1088” opens the EP with doomsy hypnotic alt-rock anthem. It’s full of curious pedal effects and guitar layers that work around the main melodies to create urgency and disruption. It’s like there’s a constant siren or whine and the dual male/female vocals play up to it too as they wax and wane their rage. It might be dystopian but it’s got one hell of a gritty groove to it. “Descend” is a superb mixture of b-movie synths that bring a chewed-up anthem that sounds perfectly broken. That overlays caustic trip-hop beats and raspy guitars. The vocals have a weary given-up delivery to them too and the whole lethargic approach is my dystopian jam.

Oddly for an alt-rock duo, they traditionally place a remix on their EPs. “RIFT (Erased Your Face) Pavel Alternate Remix” is the chosen remix this time around. It’s a mixture of breakbeats, vocal time stretching and drone synth pads and synth bass. It takes a while to reach its pay off and its payoff is a little too short perhaps but it is unique to see rock band embracing their electronica remixes so avidly. Closing track “Anthracite” is sung in French – a first for the band. Etienne Machine describes this as a ballad but it’s anything but. The track has plenty of pace and grit. It feels like the most straightforward rock track of the EP with spiralling chords and a satisfying outro.

Whilst it may not be the most conventional place to start (try the album “Off & Off” for more tracks to get your teeth into), this is an excellent EP. Each song offers a different flavour of the same dark world that Etienne Machine resides in. I love how they aren’t afraid to rock out or dance out either – you don’t have to choose. Either way, the soundtrack to your modern-day evils is here and it is glorious.

Recommended track: Descend

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Etienne Machine - Over & Out



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