Appropriately titled #2, the second release from the duo beautifully merges the individual styles of both members while creating a sound that is unique and completely their own. Unlike the first EP, where you could distinguish who influenced each song, #2 completely immerses you in an impeccable union of French and German electro.
“Bravo,” the first and longest of the four songs, represents the classic style that Handbraekes achieves with their sound. While it still is distinguishable from modern electronic music, the track has a traditional house music vibe that at points seems monotonous but prepares you for the rest of the EP.
“Paroat” starts with an industrial beat and a laser that sounds like it came right out of Star Wars. From the beginning of the song, you’re hit with a heavy, in-your-face synth that might turn some people away from listening to the rest of the EP. However, the drawn-out build up that starts mid-song captivates and lures you in to see where they will go with this obscure and Oizo-like sound.
As the next song, “Chyna,” begins, you are led to believe that normalcy will finally take hold. Conversely, a fast-paced and erratic beat takes over the calming sounds that start the song. The best part of this particular track is the snippets of vocals inserted in just the right places. The fusion of Boys Noize and Mr. Oizo is most evident in this song, as you can hear both of their styles clashing to create an instant dance floor hit.
Differentiating from any other sound presented on the EP, “Grind Go” will likely be the most popular song due to it being the most relatable to anything in electronic music today. The slowed-down disco tune soothes the soul, almost as if they knew how jarring and chaotic the rest of the EP was. The final track is their remedy and smooth transition back into reality. “Grind Go” is a perfect way to end this musical adventure, even if it does end abruptly.
#2 is a breath of fresh air in an industry that is willing to churn out whatever will make money. Handbraekes is able to establish themselves with a sound different from anything you’ll find anywhere, and different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Even if you’re not hooked with the first couple of tracks, don’t slam on the brakes for this EP.