Bruit ≤ – The machine is burning and now everyone knows it could happen again
Without much thinking anyone can tell you what you can find in a post-rock album: Way too much delay and chorus on the guitar, little to no vocals, many repetitive riffs that start small and either they evolve throughout the track or return at the end of it sounding like they weight tons, and probably the album has no more than six tracks in total. Well, “The Machine is Burning and now Everyone Knows it Could Happen Again” at first glance looks exactly like a typical post-rock album. It’s the debut album from Bruit ≤, a quartet from Toulouse, France. They emerge from dissolved pop bands after a desire of its members to turn their backs on typical music success. Initially, they wanted to make a studio-only project though they have embarked on a couple of small tours in France in support of their first EP “Monolith” released in 2018. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, they focused on composing and producing their first full-length album so “The Machine is Burning and now Everyone Knows it Could Happen Again” was released on the 2nd of April 2021.
As said, at first glance it looks very typical, but believe me, it is way beyond that. While it does have all the post-rock tropes that’s the only negative of the release, those tropes are surrounded with a lot of inspiration and ingenuity. It’s a movie without pictures, a story without words where music is the only narrative tool. There are however two narrations by far-left geneticist Albert Jacquard and an ELF activist which helps give some direction, even though it’s amazing that the music seems so descriptive yet the experience so unique for each listener. The unsustainable reality of capitalism, environmental issues as well as the vicious cycle humanity is stuck in until its inevitable demise are the main themes of the album but also a hopeful message of rebirth.
Bruit ≤ – The Fall (click here if the video isn’t playing)
One thing that instantly grabbed my attention was the symphonic parts, the band has a violinist, a cellist and there are some guest musicians on Clarinet, French Horn, Bass Trombone and Vibraphone giving the impression of a chamber orchestra, and it is an interesting combination of instruments nonetheless. This brings up a dramatic feeling pretty unique for the genre. But it doesn’t stop there as the band incorporates electronic beats and sounds so the coldness of the machine is combined with the warmness of the classical instruments creating a perfect amalgamation that enriches the band’s sound. They are not just a fancy backdrop but an instrumental part (pun intended) of Bruit’s sound, going as far as becoming main instruments.
The first moments of ‘Industry’ trick you into believing you’ll listen to another run of the mill post-rock band till the electronic loop kicks in and the tragically crying violins and you’re already in trance. This slowly leads to an aggressive guitar/bass/drum part with its sudden pauses building tension that will keep you pumped till the end of the album as the song seamlessly changes to ‘Renaissance’ which focuses more on the classical instruments and after its explosive finale you get bombarded by the eerie sounds of ‘Amazing Old Tree’. The calmness is suddenly interrupted by electronic sounds that lead into ‘The Machine is Burning’ which words are not enough to describe as the track alone is worth the purchase. Better suited with the video produced for this. The string melodies lead the way for the guitars to take over and like a good post-rock band, they take this monotonous melody and build upon it until it sounds like a ton of bricks, a majestic orchestra crying for the end while at the same time heralding the rebirth of mankind through its ashes, as the album ends with the same sounds it started.
Bruit ≤ – The machine is burning (click here if the video isn’t playing)
This is one of the best debut albums you’re going to listen to, and while still too early, it will not be surprising if it gets “best of the year” nominations. While they deserve the 10/10 mark I’m snatching away one mark as a motivation for things they can do even better, which I hope they will in any subsequent releases. Hopefully, they’ll get the attention they deserve and their next endeavor won’t fall into the exact same patterns.
- Amazing Old Tree
- The Machine Is Burning