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.
“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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