I was skeptical about venturing into another instrumental band. Typically, for me, these bands either fall into the cliché elevator music category or, worse, into the god-awful screeching of name-that-sound electronics. Beaten By Them finds a balance between extremes with Kinder Machines, an album filled with the docile picking of an acoustic guitar mixed with the gentle throbbing of percussion.
Kinder Machines is full of beautiful, building layers. Each song starts out with a simple melody, then slowly adds various instruments until it reaches a climax and changes gears completely. Half the time, I don’t know where one song ends and the other begins because of the dramatic shifts in sound. The band masterfully mixes the traditional with the modern; stirring acoustics and percussion with the low ebb of synthesizers. The electronic influences are subtle and add to the music’s overall texture instead of overwhelming it.
Beaten By Them soars above other instrumental bands because it knows how to add enough variation to make the music interesting. The songs do more than provide background noise; rather, they spin a quiet tale strong enough to evoke emotions and nostalgia.
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