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Techny-Call X – Evolution

Techny-Call X - Evolution

CD, Danse Macabre, 2008

Apart from their misleading and generally unintelligible name (their logo, TCX, rolls off the tongue far easier – an important lesson in brand reinforcement to consider if they’re in it for the long haul), this is really not bad stuff to expose yourself to. Coming across originally as France’s answer to Rammstein, this electro-metal-industrial outfit is actually fairly good at what they’re doing, despite the fact that it has all been done before. And, sadly, it was all done quite some time ago.
In fact, the guitar-driven approach (probably a throwback to the extreme metal musical origins of band members) we’re presented with harkens back to the industrial of the 90s – bands like Die Krupps, Birmingham 6, “Jesus Christ Superstar”-era Laibach and many more – stylistically typified by simple, distorted hard rock guitar riffs with heavy percussion and synth texture overlays, usually accompanied by growling bass vocals. And that is, essentially, what TCX’s “Evolution” album is: metal-meets-electro in a resoundingly discordant clash of the genre titans, narrated with tales of man’s increasing dependency on machines and their subsequent (and inevitable, if most science fiction writers are to be believed) takeover of the planet. So listening to Techny-Call X’s first full-length release is a bit like watching “Wall-E”. But it’s also entirely not – at least animated children’s features try to insert a happy ending, while this band remains steadfastly depressing. Personally, I would consider any event that spells the end of terran occupation of Earth as positive, not the morbid negativity that TCX portray.
All in all, there isn’t much wrong with “Evolution” – apart from it being at least a decade late – from a technical standpoint. The balance between typically “metal” elements and electronica is actually maintained very well, production is well above average and each track offers a slightly different facet of what this band can do. What does let them down, however, is their attitude – Techny-Call X are far too serious for their own good, and take themselves far too seriously. A looser, more fluid approach is called for, as well as less stereotyped material. Some vocals in their native French would also make for yet another dimension to explore in future ventures.


— David vander Merwe

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