A couple of years ago, I read an article that pissed me off. (Scroll down to the piece entitled “Ghost in the Drum Machine.”) Apparently, drum machines have no soul. Duh. They’re machines, you idiot! As a very belated “fuck you” to John Wood, I’ve compiled this list of 5 awesome songs that use drum machines. Trust me; they’re anything but soulless.

1. “…Then I Defy You, Stars” by The Receiving End of Sirens
The programmed beats don’t kick in until near the end of the song, but they give the coda a light, delicate feel. The rest of the song is a slice of blistering post-hardcore.

2. “Better Than Heaven” by Bloc Party
Bloc Party dove deep into electronic music on their third album, Intimacy. With a drummer as talented as Matt Tong behind the kit, this might have seemed foolish. However, the mixture of electronic beats and live drumming is perfect for this song. The first half is almost all programmed drums, giving the song a sinister feel. Tong gets his chance to shine in the second half, when the song launches into one of the most intense breakdowns ever recorded, a mixture of zippy electronics and distorted guitar riffs.

3. “Title And Registration” by Death Cab For Cutie
This song is a pretty indie rock piece that sounds almost like something out of a child’s toy box. As usual, Ben Gibbard sings of heartbreak. Music video.

4. “Far” by Coheed and Cambria
Coheed and Cambria’s fifth album, Year of the Black Rainbow, saw the band experimenting more with electronic and industrial sounds than in their previous works. The programmed drum beat, coupled with the heavily distorted guitar, gives the song a cold, clinical feel. But that’s not that say that it’s emotionless. Claudio Sanchez gives a heartfelt vocal performance, and the sparse, heavily-processed instrumentation only serve to accentuate the heartbreak of which he sings.

5. “Make You Smile” by +44 ft. Carol Heller
+44 was originally intended to be Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker’s electronica project, but it soon morphed into a full-blown pop-punk/alt-rock band with some distinct electronic influences. This song sounds like a holdover from the band’s early days. It features Mark Hoppus and Carol Heller duelling back on forth on vocals while an electronic drum beat bubbles busily underneath.

In the next installment, I’ll try to include some bands that I haven’t yet featured. Until then, happy listening! (As always, you might able to find the songs at Grooveshark.)

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