MUSIC REVIEW: Social media is taking over

Ray A-J August 25, 2018

We’re becoming self-obsessed, so say electronica band 10 o’clock chemical in their latest E.P.


WE ARE DIGITAL,” cry dystopian electronica band 10 O’clock chemical as the chorus of the second track from their debut E.P Favours for the Wicked draws to a close. The sci-fi inspired band lavishly decorate driving tectonic beats with a hazy mirage of bizarre aliens figures, dressed to the nines, in a space age club, as the track known as We Are Digital continues. Layers upon layers of pent up lyricism, and manufactured instrumentation, debate society’s enchantment with all things electronic, asking us if we really are too busy with technology.

With a penchant for racing electronic squeals, and calculated drum machine taps, the Stoke On Trent four piece conjure a melodical thought cloud on the digital or social media obsessed, drenched in irony, through their E.P. Favours for the Wicked. Despite their opposition to the mechanical mindset of modern times, much of their own instrumental toolbox comes straight from the digital. Singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Rhys‘ gritty Muse like vocals settle in nicely with the sultry automated baselines of the dark tracks, particularly with their first single Babylon Is Fallen. And the weaving of electronic components with live instrumentation is on full show as the avid singer’s voice melts into a vocoder filter, veering into the realms of the robotic.

Steering straight into the skid of computerised timbre is retro track It’s War, which started life as a humble Dubstep style song. Built around bright neon synths, and falsetto style vocals, the band, deemed Cheshire Music Awards’ Best New Artist of 2017, point the finger at overtly consumer based culture. Each melismatic call from Rhys’ Matt Healy-esque voice decorates the harsh reality of the violence experienced in Black Friday riots, with its own pretty bow. The 80s style soundtrack fuses together jumpy beats and euphoric melodies with such depictions of parasitic materialism, all the while drawing the listener in to cheerfully dance along.

10 o’clock chemical have created a gorgeous concoction of infections dance tracks with a twist: beneath the lighthearted rhythms lies a tale of overtly self-absorbed materialism that is taking over modern culture. And yet, the band seem to maintain an ironically digital sound that just transcends dance music’s simplicity. Overall i look forward greatly to their next poignant and catchy tunes.