CD, Les Disques De La Crypte, 2006
“La rencontre de la cold wave, de la noise et de l’industriel” claims the seven page press release of the French duo Electric Press Kit (I’d better not let them have my e-mail address if that is what the paper press kit looks like), and I know genres are unimportant in the greater scheme of things but I must disagree. Having far too much distortion on your guitar does not equal “noise” music, using a drum machine for your punk rock does not mean you are making industrial music and as for the dubious term “cold wave”, I was led to believe that meant minimal electronics.
So making claims to produce music which somebody else might label with different names is no crime, as is making something which is neither well played nor particularly contemporary in style. This album sounds like it was recorded on a very limited budget in 1981 and that could be a good thing, if only the feeling was right. Presumably aiming to relive some of the magical days of the post punk era, Electric Press Kit continually fail to capture the excitement and energy of all the best bands from the time, when ideas and idealism counted for much more than ability. If this was a demo recorded by young men newly arrived at art college I would be more charitable, but they’ve been around for ten years!
The first few tracks are very simplistic punk rock with a weak drum machine and the guitarist struggles to keep in time while the vocals struggle to create any impression other than mild annoyance. On track six, “Tu Voles Avec Les Anges” things seem to improve slightly with a quirky analogue bass line, but then an over distorted guitar soon spoils this along with the completely charmless drum sounds. “Les Secrets Suspendus” sounds like a different band altogether, with some quite romantic synth waves and a crunchy, syncopated beat, the bass guitar joining in quite well until the disabled voice disappoints yet again. “Joke” makes a reasonable attempt at ending the album on a better note, with a feeling slightly akin to early New Order, showing that EPK can occasionally play something of value when they slow down, but then penultimate track “Torch” is again awash with overdriven guitar but at least it has a decent tune.
So, Electric Press Kit, where will they be in another ten years? You’d have to really be a “cold wave industriel” completist to feel the need to own “Analogic”, but please do have a listen if you stumble across this band in internet land and don’t let me decide for you.
— Nathan Clemence