What have JOY DIVISION, WHITE LIES and MUSE all got in common? They are three primarily guitar driven bands who have been featured on The Electricity Club. Whilst TEC chooses to cover music that is primarily of a synth based manifesto, art rock with electronic embellishments and leftfield aspirations also appeals to the party line. After all, four of its biggest exponents DAVID BOWIE, ROXY MUSIC, ENO and TALKING HEADS are major influences in the electronic pop genre, names that are forever linked in the family tree of stylistic innovation and sonic experimentation.
One new act adopting these exploratory tendencies are NIGHT ENGINE. First spotted by The Electricity Club supporting LOVELIFE back in December, younger listeners will think back to FRANZ FERDINAND. Those of a slightly maturer disposition however will instantly connect their sound to the Davids, Byrne and Bowie. The superb first single ‘Seventeen’ feeds a frenzy that recalls the claustrophobia of Berlin-era DAVID BOWIE while the harsh sound of ‘Treat Me Like A Baby’ is a bit of a scary monster, cross-eyed but painless with the post-punk energy of MAGAZINE!
Already featured by The Guardian and not surprisingly Artrocker, with their clanky guitars, mad squelchy synths and mannered but warbling vocals set to a mutant funk backbone, NIGHT ENGINE’s template is immediately familiar but artfully thrilling. The third track that is available for all to hear online ‘I’ll Make It Worth Your While’ actually sounds like BILL NELSON during his Bowie-esque ‘Quit Dreaming & Get On The Beam’ phase with the E-Bowed guitar solos substituted by whirring synths. Singer Phil McDonnell even has a menacing air of Thin White Duke about him. It’s all quite fitting with The Dame himself now reminiscing about his Berlin days on ‘Where Are We Now?’. If you’re going to borrow, borrow from the best but give it your own slant. NIGHT ENGINE have certainly managed that.
NIGHT ENGINE play a headline show at The Borderline on 20th February 2013. They also support KAISER CHIEFS in February and THE JOY FORMIDABLE in March.
Text by Chi Ming Lai
4th February 2013