Analogue Blood - Kill Those Beats
Analogue Blood is a relatively new face to Brutal Resonance; they’ve appeared in our What’s In Our Inbox? columns in the past but their history has maintained an air of mystery for curious enthusiasts out in the electronic scene. Nonetheless, I’ll be unwrapping that enigma today by exploring both Analogue Blood’s history as well as their new EP “Kill Those Beats”. The project was formed by Ian Hanratty (guitars, programming, synths) and his mate Lee Teasdale (live drums). The two knew each other from the 90s and began their journey into the music scene by playing in various rock and metal groups. Like many others, they took an interest in the electronic music scene when The Prodigy released their legendary song ‘Firestarter’. Their unofficial third member, Chris Davidson (mixing and mastering) is an occasional collaborator with Analogue Blood, writing lyrics, performing vocals, and producing the band’s music here and there.
Hanratty got the band’s name when he had a stay at the hospital; he was hooked up to an analogue blood pressure machine and thought the name sounded cool. Which, c’mon, it does. And, voila, the band was granted its name. In February of 2019 Analogue Blood released their debut EP “Advanced Weapon Systems Activated” which was an eight-track release. The EP featured collaborations with Alice Hour, the previously mentioned Chris Davidson, and Josh Danby. Fast-forward a year and some months and now we have their latest EP “Kill Those Beats”.
As can be inferred from the previous EP’s namesake and the cover art of the current EP, Analogue Blood takes inspiration from science fiction. The cover art for “Kills Those Beats” is of a glitched out alleyway that would not seem out of place as a seedy, underworld crime den for denizens of a cyberpunk future. While I could not find in the credits of the EP who made the cover art, I would like to tip my metaphorical hat to you. Well done.
While the band considers this to be an EP, I would rather call it an album; it contains nine songs in total running around forty minutes. For most bands this is good enough; perhaps Analogue Blood is being generous. If this is an EP than I expect a two-CD release to be their debut album. Jokes aside, let’s start off with the first track on the album ‘Until The Sun’. What I’m delivered here is a chilling, relaxing dive into acid inspired and industrial rock influenced electro. Vocals provided by who I assume to be Alice Hour sunk into my ears and put me in a general good mood. Well done.
‘Frozen’ shifts the mood with energetic and thumping percussive bass forming the backbone of the song with machinegun-like blasts of drums hitting in here and there. The vocals provided in the song are distorted as if it’s a cry out for help. While unsettling, I feel as if this is the exact emotion the song was attempting to go for. ‘E.B.S’ and ‘Awakening’ are straightforward dance songs where techno takes the mainstage. ‘Insomnia’ is another brilliant work that made me feel as if I was slipping in and out of a dream; ethereal vocals carried me through the song while a light backing synth provided the feeling that I was drifting in a cloud. Again, the mood of the music transitions wonderfully to the title of the song.
The title track on the album was the only one that I absolutely despised. Higher pitched squealing screams takeover the duration of the first-half of the song and are absolutely unbearable and ridiculous. In the second half, rapid-fire rap takes over. I was impressed by the flow of the rapper and how well he sounded; I was even bobbing my head to his voice as he spit. However, the squealing screeches came back over his rapping and ruined that as well. What’s most disappointing about this song is that I feel as if nothing comes together. The squealing is terrible, and it doesn’t flow with the music. The rap was good but, again, it did not flow with the music. That’s a shame because Analogue Blood’s most powerful attribute up to this point was their ability to harmonize the vocals with the music without either overtaking one another. This song, however, is a big fat mess.
‘Never Fall Down’ came up after that and was a redemptive tale where Analogue Blood let their music come back down. The vocals needed a bit of work as they sound absolutely brilliant when they're being whispered (best I could compare it to is HEALTH). I feel as if the reverberating effect on them was also overdone. ‘Virus 2020’ is inspired by, well, you should know by now and is a slow romp with an engaging bass-beat. I suppose it was about time for one of the songs to slow things down and, being the final song on the album, it was a wonderful way to let us out. Inertia came in for a remix for the song ‘Never Fall Down’. Any complaint that I had about ‘Never Fall Down’ was fixed here with the electronic veterans taking away the overpowering digital effects on the voice. It sounds much more natural than previous and I kind of wish this was the canon mix for the song. Well done.
Analogue Blood’s strength lies within their ability to produce danceable acid, techno, industrial, and electro instrumentals. Where they need to improve, however, is within harmonizing the vocals and music into a whole piece. It can be done; ‘Until The Sun’ is a prime example of that. But when songs like ‘Never Fall Down’ and ‘Kill Those Beats’ hit, I just want to skip them entirely and pretend that they don’t really exist. Nonetheless, Analogue Blood is a rising duo in the UK electronic scene. I would like to see what they do next as I’m sure with a few tweaks they’ll be just as legendary as their influences.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. Feel free to check it out for review, interview, and premiere opportunities.Nov 23 2020
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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