Thursday 14 June 2012

Robots With Souls - Droids That Bleed/Watch Out!

Single review by KevW

You'd be forgiven for thinking that, in the live arena at least, Oxford's Robots With Souls are a fairly traditional band set-up, with guitars, bass, drums, vocals, samples and so on. Well it's not only in the studio that this project is the work of one man, Steve Wilson, as he recreates these sounds on stage using an intricate set up of loops and triggers, all recorded there and then. An impressive spectacle it must be, as this isn't your average lay down a guitar loop, get a beat going and then play live bass and vocals over the top type material. One-man bands have been using such techniques for ages now, and while impressive, it's lost its sparkle somewhat. It's the sounds which Robots With Souls must recreate that gives his version the upper hand.

The duo of songs on this debut single are anything but sparse, repetitive and formulaic, these songs are intense, cluttered, agitated and experimental. 'Droids That Bleed' takes in leaden guitars and a stretchy bassline with witty lyrics, lead and treated backing vocals, and the sound of someone giving a drum kit a right good punishing in the background. It's visceral alternative rock that captures the live element incredibly successfully. 'Watch Out' is murkier and more distorted. There's no peaceful caressing of instruments, instead they're again given a thorough testing and rigorous examination of their limits. Two very good songs, and by all accounts a must-see live experience.

Robots With Souls' website

Buy the single

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