I learned a new word while listening to Is Does’ album Own Devices: rocktronic. The man or woman behind the music is London-based and describes themselves as Aphex Twin-esque mixed with a little Eno and Pink Floyd.
The first track, “Drowned Arcades” was strong and made me very optimistic about the rest of the album. However two things happened: I wanted more of the song after it initially ended. I was waiting for a small drop back into the beat. It also didn’t prepare me for the amount of rock influence that is actually on this album. That being said, “Drowned Arcades” is a favorite for me.
As I listen more to the album, I start to become more interested in it; and the more I hear ‘70s rock elements. Especially on tracks “A Simple Method” and “Forwandred”: heavy guitars and bass. There’s more rock, and a lot less -tronic. Something I noticed halfway through the album that is always a pleasure for me to see is when the songs get blended together at the end and at the beginning. I love when this happens because then it feels more cohesive; it’s almost like I get to experience a full continuous thought from the artist.
“Beyond Us” is anthemic and melancholic. It’s also rather melodic and puts the listener in a slight state of hypnosis. In my book, if you have a physical reaction to music, then you know you’re listening to something good. After a solid handful of the songs being more guitar and Pink Floyd led, “The Ape at the Controls” brings the listener back to more of an Aphex Twins influence and back more into the -tronic side of things. Unfortunately for this electro-head, the track wasn’t long enough and I felt as if the electronic side of the album wasn’t as balanced out.
I get a little overwhelmed as I listened to the rest of the “Own Devices” after “The Ape at the Controls.” There’s a lot of guitar and bass and it all sort of bleeds into one. I feel as though I can’t remember one song except for “Beyond Us,” “Drowned Arcades” and “The Ape at the Controls.” I don’t want to say that there was nothing special here, because there is potential. It’s just all a matter of editing down and not keeping everything that was recorded.
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