Thursday 10 April 2014

Review: Non-Bio – 'Machine Cold Wash'

'Machine Cold Wash'

London-based industrial multi-media act Non-Bio may have started out as a result of the members pursuits in making videos for other bands. But that shouldn't discount their musical ability in any way. The duo consisting of Howard Gardner and Karl Lloyd (X-KiN) have proven over the course of the handful of EPs and compilation appearances that they have the goods to make their low-fi and experimental take on electro-industrial quite appealing.

The likes of early Skinny Puppy, Sheep On Drugs and Aphex Twin are immediately identifiable in their sharp and disjointed tracks. There is always a clever sense of melody at play within the tracks and the steady paced beats hold things together and keep things accessible. But there is a trippy and disorientating adventurousness with the elements at work that gives their formula a pleasantly old school quality.

Tracks like 'Perfect', 'Medicinema', 'Brain Party' and 'I Am Your God Now' are shining examples of what the duo can do. They feel accessible enough to play well to a casual listener. But there is that ever present grit and sense that they may take things in an entirely different direction at the drop of a hat, which makes them a genuinely intriguing band to listen to.

The production is pretty gritty and noisy as you would probably expect from a band that blatantly likes to shake things up. But it's not one of those kind of albums that sounds like it was recorded on an ancient four-track in a concrete bunker. It does, for all its quirks and rough edges sound very well constructed and mixed.

Non-Bio are not what you would call a commercial project really. Despite some danceable beats and some very catchy melodies, they're very much on the “thinking-man's industrial” pile. It's not a bad thing though. It's nice to have some bands willing to try something new on every song rather than churning out more club-orientated 4/4 dance hits. It's going to be very interesting to hear just how far these to can push things on the next release.

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