Techgnosis is a three-piece band comprised of Danny Reyes (guitars/vocals/electronics), Edward Tuttle (guitars) and Schuyler Kessler (electronics/vocals). The band recently released a five-song EP entitled The Alien Scheme. My first thoughts (which happened to remain) is that the overall feel is intensely serious to the point of being comical. Sort of like Spinal Tap singing about Stonehenge.
For instance the last song “The Alien Scheme” seems to be about some kind of genesis with extraterrestrials. Lyrics like, “Long ago, ancient lifetime / Visitors, of the third kind / Futurists, so amused with / Our decline, we as humans / Scattered by disillusion / Massive lies and confusion / Terrorized from the orbit / Desperate cries, they ignored them” could be fun in a comic book type of way but are delivered with such reverence it feels like they are being delivered by a conspiracy theorist. Although the EP would have benefited from some type of levity or lightness in terms of vocal delivery, theme and music there are still some interesting things going on.
Musically, the band combines organic and electronic elements, which come in the form of mostly guitars, electronic drums and synths. There are definitely some inspired moments that peaked my interest. The band gets going with “When You're in the Wrong Places” which combines metal guitar with electronic elements. My favorite moments were veered towards the intense and chaotic such as the breakdown before the three-minute mark.
“Echo (Right Before Your Eyes)” was a highlight and is arguably the best vocal performance. He sings, “Dig tunnels down, the mind is deeper than you can relate to / In this place, when you let it surround you the echo resounds you.” The song is mythical in an almost nerdy sci-fi way yet doesn’t point to anything distinct. I kept thinking of things like the Knight Of Templar, Scientology and the 1981 sci-fi fantasy movie Heavy Metal. “Astronomer” is a break from the distorted guitar and heavy drums. The band mixes in orchestral string and acoustic guitar. It was a short, unexpected but welcome move.
The Alien Scheme doesn’t have the catchiest songs you will hear this year but I thought there were some original aspects to the music even if it didn’t all pan out perfectly. I think it’s safe to say The Alien Scheme is an esoteric EP and will attract a certain breed of human being. That might be you so take a listen.
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