Single Review: 'Integration' by AXLS
Summer may be drawing to a close, but electro trio AXLS have other ideas, dropping ‘Integration’ - their third single of the year, ahead of their upcoming debut album which will have you raving into the darkening nights.
‘Integration’ continues the Newcastle based band’s tale of an alien invasion, seducing the human population into an addictive virtual reality world by integrating them into their machine mind. The relentless beat and layers of neon synth certainly made me feel one with them and seduced me into a mini-bop session on the X66 bus from Gateshead.
Vocalist Victoria sings about a ‘sensory overload’ and that’s certainly what I got transmitted though my headphones.
AXLS take inspiration from classic sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and War of the Worlds when laying down their electronic beats, and with influences such as Kraftwerk, Human League and LCD Soundsystem, its easy to see how their sound has developed. You could imagine Deckard throwing a few shapes to this in a futuristic strobe-lit room. Personally I was also reminded of ‘Less Than’ by Nine Inch Nails and a little of Violator-era Depeche Mode, albeit with a heavy dose of classic 6am Ibiza club vibes.
The track remains lodged in your brain hours after listening, like those poor souls sucked into the central alien intelligence. At times it felt like a slower song that had been given a power injected remix that had actually improved it. The addictive bass and otherworldly vocals had the same effect on me as early Chvrches singles.
‘Integration’ is available now on all streaming platforms along with their previous singles ‘ICBM’ and ‘Alias’, and AXLS will support Martha Gunn at the Riverside in Newcastle City Centre on September 26th. I can’t personally wait for the full story of extra terrestrial seduction to land. The trio’s beats are quite unlike anything else I’ve heard this year.
Perhaps it was a good thing I sat at the back of the bus…