Three-piece Essex band ‘New Love Engine’ are certainly capable of making music for you to get your teeth into. Their sound is padded out with a tightly-honed instrumental (Annalise Woolfe on bass) and percussion (Nathan Taylor on drums) that is perfectly balanced with frontman Braden Clarke’s drawling vocal style. There may only be three of them, but between them they certainly make a hell of a lot of noise!
Despite the track title insisting ‘I’m Not That’ – we think they are that, and more besides. Whilst this song is a laid back, stoner melody the band’s other material is more angst fuelled; with ‘Three Word Chorus’ building to epic riff climaxes and giving us exactly what the track suggests – a three word chorus: “summer of love”. It’s minimalistic, but it sure as hell works and the aggressive vibes to the track are evocative of Californian garage band, FIDLAR.
In ‘Unarmed’ the band try for a more psychedelic feel, with the effect not being dissimilar to some of Radiohead’s more conceptual constructions. This mood dissipates, though, and the track builds in pace thanks to a tightly controlled drum beat before fading out when the vocals return. It’s an impressive display of the band’s reach with their instruments considering the vocal is very much stripped bare. Stripping things back further still, in ‘Malevolence’ the band explores the concept of conflict: ‘I love you, I hate you’.
The female backing vocal on this track is a nice touch, gifting it a ghost-like quality that is, again, evocative of Radiohead. It’s incontestable that parallels in terms of Braden’s vocal style can be drawn to Thom Yorke in ‘Fake Plastic Trees’.
These guys are evidently gifted musicians with broad-reaching influences. We look forward to see which route their sound will take in the future!