Dylan Beast - How Long
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
Melbourne, Australia singer / songwriter Dylan Beast is tapping into industrial rock with his brand-new EP “How Long”. Combining influences from 1990s / 2000s electronic rock and modern club music, he looks to explore mental struggles and today’s technology centered life. While his last album, 2020’s “Black Patches” saw some elements of electronic music, Dylan Beast is moving further into the territory with his latest EP “How Long”.
Speaking on the instrumentals, I can attest that Dylan Beast is well off. ‘How Long’ is a varied track as industrial music ought to be. The beginning starts us off with a bit of ambiance and a bubbly bassline that had me thinking I was going to head right into a beat driven track. Quite the opposite happened as funky guitar notes hit and I was transferred into a decent yet captivating chorus. Mix, chop, repeat until the crescendo hits where all elements come together.
‘How Long’ gets a remix from Times of the Sines. This band takes away much of the funk influence and home in on the bassline, though it does get a bit repetitive since it doesn’t go away for the entirety of the track. They also take a stab at Dylan Beast’s vocals, constantly glitching them out as if a robot is in meltdown. Part of me appreciates this, but another part also finds it annoying that the lyrics are misconstrued for sound effects. It’s a double-edged sword, in a sense. The last song on the album is ‘Still in Quarantine’. Which you can guess what inspired it based on the title alone. A very experimental track and the one that’s the most impressive on the EP. Stuck gears, synths that sound like an exaggerated owl hoo-ing in the night, and other odd whistling-like synths join the fray. Later in the song, Dylan Beast utilizes tribal drums and chants to set an entirely different mood. It’s a joy through and through.
The one area where Dylan Beast needs serious improvement is with his voice. The opening moments of ‘How Long’ are laughable at the very least; Part of me though his clean singing was supposed to be a joke at first, but the more it went on, the more I realized it wasn’t. He can’t really hold a tune when he holds a note, and his voice sounds awful. I never felt as if Dylan Beast could quite match the ebb and flow of his own song, making mismatched vocals and beats. I like his more spoken word approach in ‘Still in Quarantine’. The minimalistic approach to the song carries over to his tone. I also thought that his chanting in Italian in the second half of the track was very well done, carrying over an angst from Pandemic related isolation.
I wouldn’t exactly say that “How Long” has turned me into a fan of Dylan Beast, but nor has it turned me off entirely from the musician. There’s potential here and his instrumentals are good, but his voice and choice of remixers needs consideration. Though I enjoyed the beats on ‘How Long’, due to his voice I shan’t be returning to that song ever again. The remix is alright, but frustrating at times, and doesn’t give me a welcome back message. ‘Still in Quarantine’ I would easily rate a seven or higher on its own, but the whole package is flawed. Six out of ten.Nov 29 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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