Evil Engine - #2 [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Evil Engine

#2 [EP] (2018)

No Affiliation Records

With their 2nd EP, Chicago’s Evil Engine has put together 5 songs that blur the line between ‘80s punk and ‘80s metal to combine for an aggressive attack on the issues of today. This release harnesses a grim picture of the present, but also offers somewhat of a positive spin in the sense that it highlights our responsibility as citizens to fix society’s problems in hope for a brighter future.

Throughout the EP, the band bounces around in regards to both style and speed. “Degeneration” is a great example of this. The verse is speckled with some straight up rock ‘n’ roll. But at times, there are hints of early Bad Religion, particularly at the back end of the verse where the rapid succession of lyrics and the whoas of the chorus make for an aggressive and catchy song. “Upstanding Citizen” is another example of this blend of styles where the pre-chorus and chorus are steeped in Suffer-era rhythms, but the vocal delivery and lead guitar have metal-esque characteristics. “Sink & Drown” and “Get the Gun” slow down the tempo, but the aggression remains thanks to the heavy tone of the bass, the hawkish vocals,  heavy metal guitar riffs, and rousing drums.  “Prisoner of War” picks up the tempo and once again combines various musical styles to close the cd with angst.

While the band pays homage to heavy metal at times, they are at their best when they play straight forward punk rock with the speed and aggression of those early American punk bands. The EP is ripe with gloom and doom and the tone of the instruments adds to that feeling, but in the end, sometimes is nice to hear that people still care enough to question everything.