We the Machine – Dissenter
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: July 9 2013
Being a fan of any kind of media, whether it’s movie, music, books, video games, or anything else can be a rather difficult thing, because there’s SO much of everything out there, and so many bands, artists, authors, directors, actors, you name it, are trying to get you, the consumer’s attention. Advertisers can only do much, but it’s ultimately up to you on what you choose to listen to, watch, play, or read. I bring this up, because the genre of post-hardcore is one that’s quite saturated, especially within the last few years. There are so many bands within the genre, and it’s very easy to miss plenty, because others may have your attention. Most genres do have a lot of bands and artists in them, but I use post-hardcore as an example because post-hardcore band We the Machine is one that I would’ve never heard of if it wasn’t for bassist Danny Looney messaging me on Absolutepunk.net, which is a website that I use a lot, whether it’s for music news, or just putting my reviews on. He messaged me a couple weeks ago, seeing if I would be interested in reviewing his band’s debut EP Dissenter. I was a bit skeptical, because as I mentioned, there are plenty of post-hardcore bands out there, trying to get my attention, and unsurprisingly, most of them are rather generic and boring. I listened to a track from the EP, which was fifth track “Mirrors,” just to see if I would be interested in hearing the whole EP. It took me by surprise, because it’s not often I hear a post-hardcore band or any band that’s unknown and/or unsigned that I really like. Because of that, I feel as though it’s my duty to tell people about them, so they can get more popular, or at least a bit more noticed. I’ve never understood why people say that certain bands/artists shouldn’t be popular, such as a majority of “mainstream” artists, yet the only attention they give is to said bands and artists. While I wholeheartedly believe in expressing one’s opinion, especially negative ones, why don’t people like to talk about things they do enjoy? Are we as a society more focused on things that we dislike, and we get more enjoyment making fun of things than we do actually enjoying things? Regardless, We the Machine is a band that I do enjoy. I haven’t known of them for very long, but they’re a band that I most likely wouldn’t have heard about otherwise.
Post-hardcore bands are a dime a dozen nowadays, so what makes We the Machine stand out? Well, not too much. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy this band, and I’m going to emphasize that throughout the entire review. I won’t say this band is a guilty pleasure, either, because they are enjoyable. They are a step above their peers, but they’re not radically different, either. What I mean to say is that if you enjoy “generic” bands in the genre, such as Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce the Veil, Motionless In White, Of Mice & Men as well as plenty of others, or bands like Dance Gavin Dance, Underoath, Lower Definition, Thrice, or We Came As Romans, you’re still going to like this band. We the Machine might have a few generic tendencies, such as some breakdowns, and clean vocals that don’t really stand out much. However, what sets them apart is that these aspects aren’t overused. They have just the right amount of breakdowns to hook kids in who like that sort of thing, and their clean vocals are used nicely. Not to mention, there aren’t too many “clean choruses” on this EP, either. They do exist, but they’re actually used effectively. It does start off with a rather generic intro entitled, “Hold the Line,” but it does lead into second track, “An Effort to Breathe,” which is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It shows off their sound perfectly, in all honesty. There’s a nice mix between technical guitarwork and breakdowns, along with clean vocals and screams. Nothing overshadows anything else. It’s a perfect balance. I don’t really care for their clean vocals much, but while they aren’t great, they’re not used in generic places, and they’re used nicely. There are even some melodic parts to balance out the aggression, too, which is a nice touch. Not too many post-hardcore bands really focus on the melodic aspect of their sound, but a few are really starting to, such as Secrets and We Came As Romans.
The only other downside to the EP I have besides the fact that their clean vocalist doesn’t do much for me is just that the songs do kind of run together at times, which is a problem in many genres, and for many bands. So it’s a rather generic criticism, but even so, it makes the songs themselves slightly less memorable. The EP itself is quite memorable, because while it’s not too unique, there’s enough of an edge for this EP/band to stand out among the crowd. We the Machine is a band that not many people have heard of, but even so, don’t sleep on this band. I can imagine them getting huge in the next couple of years if they keep this sound going.