May 2012 23

Espermachine - Dying LifeEspermachine
Category: EBM / Electro
Album: Dying Life
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: With improved production and polished songwriting, Espermachine finally releases a debut album as it was meant to be.


Based out of Little Rock, Arkansas, Espermachine has steadily worked its way through the electro scene with a finely tuned set of songs that are as aggressively danceable as they are melodically infectious. Drawing heavily from the EBM and futurepop of the last decade, the band’s self-titled self-released debut album in 2007 took them across the club circuit with a highly energetic live show that held the fluidic energy of a DJ set. A rerelease two years later and a subsequent single release unfortunately brought little fanfare, but the band pressed on, finally attracting the attention of the renowned Tom Shear of Assemblage23. Now signed to his 23db Records, Espermachine returns with a reworking of the debut album; rerecorded and produced by Shear, Dying Life offers an even more powerful presentation of some excellently catchy EBM/electro.

Right from the onset of “Dead Man Walking” with its punchy bass line and subtly intricate beat structures, it becomes immediately apparent how far the band has come and just what a profound effect Shear’s touch has had on Espermachine. As epic as the original, but with a fuller tonal palette, James Esper’s richly baritone and emotive vocals shine through with greater clarity and diction, the saccharine chorus melody easily making this a surefire hit on the dance floor. The same can be said of such songs as “These Crimes” with its swelling pads and ominous atmosphere, the pulsating bass and steady buildup to noisy ambience and squelching electro of “Haunting You,” and particularly the title track with its uplifting chorus melody and introspective lyrics that recall the socially conscious mentality of VNV Nation. Other tracks follow suit, with the slow, oddly metallic sequences and overdriven pads of “Shadows,” the rhythmic layers of driving synths of “A Watery Grave,” and “Out of Time” with its rebating percussive clanks and searing and orchestral melody lines perhaps reminding some of the likes of Steril or Project Pitchfork.

With distinctly improved production and sensibility of arrangement, the songs on Dying Life are finally given the sheen and polish they’d always strived for but never received until now. Gone are the cliché Blade Runner samples replaced by a much more strident atmosphere and tuneful songwriting that shows Espermachine to be a highly proficient and appealing act that bears the decade-old torch of futurepop quite nicely. While some may find the sound a tad too familiar, there is much potential for the band to evolve into a powerhouse of electronic pop greatness.
Track list:

  1. Dead Man Walking
  2. Siberia
  3. Dying Life (Mix Two)
  4. These Crimes
  5. A Thousand Days
  6. Shadows
  7. Haunting You
  8. Hall of Dreams
  9. A Watery Grave
  10. Out of Time

Espermachine Website
Espermachine Facebook
Espermachine Twitter
Espermachine SoundCloud
Espermachine Bandcamp
23db Records Website
23db Records MySpace
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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