With eyes caked in eyeliner and a penchant for rock remixes, it’s clear Tristan Garner would have been just as comfortable fronting an 80s hair metal band as he is headlining EDM events. Nowhere is this more obvious than the French electro enigma’s latest Digital Rocker EP, out today on Xtra Life Records.
The title track features a riff straight out of Iron Maiden‘s playbook, bolstered by big room builds and rollicking drum and bass rhythms. Garner showcases his melodic sensibilities on the more progressive “Meteor” with an anthemic synth lead and noodling solos. If Eric Prydz and Judas Priest had musical offspring, they might resemble “Sloan,” a muscular track featuring ethereal synths over chugging thrash guitars. The stomping “Rage Again” is the most electronic offering on the album, likely to be the favorite among younger fans who wore diapers while Garner’s influences shredded guitars.
Unsurprisingly, the EP is prone to the excesses of the genres he emulates; those seeking subtlety need not apply. But Garner has succeeded in infusing his brand of post-Daft Punk electro with a uniquely appealing blend of hard rock aesthetics. If he was born in the wrong era, he’s done a great job of compensating.