Coke Machine are back to vending quality indie-rock!
Cairene indie band Kamal Tabikha, Zeina Aly, and Habiba Effat are back as Coke Machine with their first new material in two years. It seems that they’re constantly evolving out of the more acoustic approach they debuted with, and more in the post-punk direction of their ‘Post Coke’ EP. The shoegaze influences of The Raveonettes and The Jesus and Mary Chain are gaining more prominence in their sound, with a dream pop/neo-psychedelia twist nonetheless. Their new double track EP My Friend is proof of how far they’ve gone in terms of maturing their sound.A noticeable departure from their acoustic days, Provocation starts with a slow, haunting Joy Division-esque riff setting up the premise. Programmed snares instil a sense of industrialisation, soon to be cancelled out by a warm yet equally distant Beach House-like guitar and lyrics. There is no discernible instrumental break or solid bridge. Instead, it’s a sustained, continuous infusion of muddled overlapping vocals by Zeina layered over quantised drum loops, and a contorted electric guitar. Overlying themes of lost and found love with an amusingly oddball choice of lyrics dominate the song, grasping a true in-your-face indie stance throughout.Self-Policing starts off with a quick, looped, groove, and a straight out of 1980s Manchester bass line that makes the introductions. Repetitive verses of “I want to feel” and “They’re on to me” are reminiscent of The Foals during their early days, and will catch your unsuspecting ear’s attention. Subtle siren like synths in the background, however, try to remain inconspicuous in true lo-fi fashion. A slightly distorted guitar riff emanates and Zeina starts telling of a metaphorical commute with lines like “It’s just a taxi cab, don’t sit tight” and “You have to move out into traffic, don’t get hit”.
The dreamy main melody kicks in after the first bout of verses, elevating the drive of the track to a newly found height. The retro production and slightly dysfunctional vocals somehow create a simulation of driving down the freeway behind the wheel of a Lamborghini Countach. Fast forward to the outro, you’ll hear Zeina repeating a cryptic message of “I couldn’t reach it” then the music unexpectedly cuts to only the bass line and the synth once again, coming full circle.