New Secret Machines

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Has anyone heard the new secret machines LP? It's available for download at their website and on iTunes (though you get some extra goodies if you order it from their website). Anyway, for those who complained that they were the new Pink Floyd, I am not sure this will do much to dissuade you, except that it is much heavier than their last record, has a lot more drive. But it does clearly harken back to the mid to late 70s psych/prog rock scene. While I would be even more delighted to have a new record that didn't obviously harken back to something, at least its good to have one that harkens back to something other than the early 80s right now.

harken harken harken.

Anyway, so far I am impressed. Anyone else listening to this?

Scott, Friday, 20 February 2004 05:46 (sixteen years ago) link

It's friggen swell!

Ian Grey (Ian_G), Friday, 20 February 2004 14:36 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah, i dig it. still not up to their live show's muster though. and wb, where's my finders fee??

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 20 February 2004 15:17 (sixteen years ago) link

they fucking kill, don't they?

stevie (stevie), Friday, 20 February 2004 15:29 (sixteen years ago) link

they do. yet even though i've seen them play 6 or 7 times, i've only seen them FINISH a show twice -- every other occassion the cops have broken it up or the power has gone out. captain audio are great too! and comet!

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 20 February 2004 15:46 (sixteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
listening to this and liking it a lot!

stockholm cindy (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 9 March 2004 19:39 (sixteen years ago) link

meh.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Tuesday, 9 March 2004 19:43 (sixteen years ago) link

Someone asked me and I rattled off, "They're like Radiohead without gross import, like Zeppelin without penis pants, like Brit Pop without football and beer, but even better."

The one asking purchased it. Go figure.

The drummer is fantastic too.

Ian Grey (Ian_G), Thursday, 11 March 2004 07:10 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
OK, I am reviving this thread because a friend in DC is seeing them tonight, and I am jealous and I want to see them live again soon. He just sent me a text message that said "Very Loud." Shit, I wish I was there.

I think the new record gets a little old--largely because of somewhat uninspiring lyrics (yeah, even though I praised it to start the thread, and I still like it)--but every time I think about their live set, I get wistful.

It was Shit-hot.

If you get a chance to see them open for Blonde Redhead on this tour (even if you hate Blonde Redhead), it will be worth it. They are also really nice guys.

Scott CE (Scott CE), Friday, 23 April 2004 02:28 (sixteen years ago) link

huh...I saw them and was kinda underwhelmed....They seemed like Collective Soul masquerading as a prog band.

in fairness, I was there to see the headliner (Blonde Redhead) so sometimes I don't think I give openers a fair shake...

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Friday, 23 April 2004 02:32 (sixteen years ago) link

Ouch. I do think that they are not a good match for Blonde Redhead. It's certainly possible to like them both (I do), but the tone of the bands is really different. Secret Machines is really like an updated classic/psych/prog rock sound that is really heavy, and I am not sure that is ideal for the Blonde Redhead crowd, which seemed mostly composed of grad students whose dissertations have the word "post" in it somewhere (not intended as a knock on grad students).
If you were psyched to see BR, I could understand if the Secret Machines seemed odd or incongruous. Actually, I was somewhat bored by BR after the Secret Machines set, even though I was excited to see both.

Scott CE (Scott CE), Friday, 23 April 2004 02:37 (sixteen years ago) link

'Prog' how?

Everything's 4/4, no extraneous modulations, no long solos--is it a prog-estic vide thing?

There are three notes copped from "Breathe"/Floyd, two notes from a Zep song (not repeated), the Wurlitzer sound from the first Roxy--these are so fleeting I pegged them for laffs.

, Friday, 23 April 2004 04:59 (sixteen years ago) link

as for the lyrics--i'm very comfotable with the voxist's slur-tone articulation. he's obviously distressed about something, but as with most lyrics, all the detail I need is a decipherable word clump that IDs the song, and they provide that so--great lyrics!

ian g__y, Friday, 23 April 2004 05:01 (sixteen years ago) link

OK, maybe that's the problem for me, then. I can hear too many of the lyrics on the new album. They SOUND great though, in the context of the song.

As for the "prog" bit, you're right, the structure isn't prog, but it seems to find inspiration, in part, from the sound of 70s prog rock. Without, you know, trying to start a thread about what's prog or not, I am referring specifically to Yes and late 70s Rush. It doesn't have the intricacy of those records, but it has the sort of spacious and spacey feeling that they managed to create. at least to me,

Scott CE (Scott CE), Friday, 23 April 2004 05:07 (sixteen years ago) link

My somewhat breathless TSM review:

http://www.citypaper.com/current/trax2.html

Ian in Williamsberg, Wednesday, 28 April 2004 14:53 (sixteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
Are they better than The Doves? Cuz I like The Doves and everything I read about the Secret Machines album just makes it sound like The Doves? Should I buy the album? I need to know. Because if it isn't as good as the last Doves album then I'm not gonna buy it. Maybe I'm wrong to compare them to The Doves. But I like the big spacey oceanic rock thing.

scott seward (scott seward), Wednesday, 26 May 2004 11:28 (sixteen years ago) link

don't buy the album, scott. download "it's a bad wind that don't do somebody some good" from the ace fu records site instead. it's by far their best song, and it ain't on the new one.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Wednesday, 26 May 2004 12:42 (sixteen years ago) link

Doves are more glibly sweet . SM has a tasty underflavor of unhinged sauciness.

Ian G, Wednesday, 26 May 2004 13:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Found out that these are playing at a festival in Rotterdam in June, so did a search - they sound great.....but.....I'm not sure where all the "they sound like x" links come from - they remind me of Mercury Rev?!

Dean Birkett (Fynci), Thursday, 27 May 2004 15:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Just got this today (see here: So, determined to buy a CD today..... ), and now that the boss man has left, I've cranked it on up and am in the process of shaking the paint off the walls with it. I am WELL into this. There's just such a big oommphy weight to their sound (those drums!) and there's a great, throbby tone to the guitars. If I were in a band today -- I'd want to sound like this. "Nowhere Again" is fucking great, great, great. And "First Wave Intact" makes me want to push huge metal file cabinets over onto unsuspecting administrative assistants and set fire to the fax machines (I'm at the office, y'see).

I give this album a huge thumbs up.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 28 May 2004 04:44 (sixteen years ago) link

Doves were never this heavy.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 28 May 2004 04:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Alex, you need to see them live. They're also in NYC, I think, so it shouldn't be too hard. The kick large volume of ass live.

Scott CE (Scott CE), Friday, 28 May 2004 06:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Saw'em live. Opening for Interpol. And they blew those anaemic fops well off the stage (not a difficult feat, I admit).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 28 May 2004 06:14 (sixteen years ago) link

They're on the Yes New York comp if anyone wonders what they sound like and have that.

TomB (TomB), Friday, 28 May 2004 11:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Yancey sez NO! Alex sez YES! Oh, the confusion. Then again, Yancey sez his favorite album of the year is by Alicia Keys. Hmmmm....
(wait, i think that was Yancey. I'll try not to let that colour my judgement though.)

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 28 May 2004 12:33 (sixteen years ago) link

they were offensively boring the last time i saw them. the decision to make the lyrics/vocals more prominent in the live show is a bad, bad idea.

lauren (laurenp), Friday, 28 May 2004 13:17 (sixteen years ago) link

no, i LIKE the secret machines (in fact i started the momentum that got em signed to wb), i'm just saying that their best song by far is the one i mentioned before that's on their first ep.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 28 May 2004 13:28 (sixteen years ago) link

But what do you think of the album, Yance?

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 28 May 2004 13:35 (sixteen years ago) link

I'd like to see Alicia Keys' head duct-taped to the bass amp at the next Secret Machines gig.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 28 May 2004 15:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Actually, that was a bit mean of me. I don't mind Alicia Keys.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 28 May 2004 15:51 (sixteen years ago) link

i think the album has nice moments but overall is kinda boring. that other song i keep harping sounds exactly like the best bits of meddle, but much of the album sounds like soft bulletin-era flaming lips covering pink floyd -- i.e. overly serious pussy-rawk.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 28 May 2004 15:52 (sixteen years ago) link

i.e. overly serious pussy-rawk.

It is overly serious, I'll give ya that. They don't use hand puppets or dress like fuckin' plushies like the Flamign Lips....which I think is considerably to their credit.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 28 May 2004 15:53 (sixteen years ago) link

http://www.acefu.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=89&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

here's that song i love so much

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Friday, 28 May 2004 15:55 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, it's the soft bulletin comparison that scares me. that album bored me to tears. and yet i liked the one mercury rev album with the singing saws. go figure. but that is one of those endless ILM arguments thst i don't want to get into right now. so please, if you read this, forget that i mentioned the soft bulletin. please.

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 28 May 2004 17:41 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I got to work today and found that I'd bought "September 000" at some point over my drinking binge, I mean, weekend. Just stuck it on. Enjoying the music, but I'm not sure the vocals are doing it for me. Will listen more and think about it. And read this thread, obviously. I was just reviving it so I knew where to post if I wanted to talk about it!

Ma$onic Boom (kate), Monday, 19 July 2004 10:53 (fifteen years ago) link

still really like september 000 and the new record. the vocals are growing on me.

Nick Apollo Forte (Jody Beth Rosen), Monday, 19 July 2004 11:00 (fifteen years ago) link

I listened to a lot of Mercury Rev at the weekend, and it seems to be on that kind of tip. If I think about his thin, nasal whine as being kinda like Jonathan Donahue, it doesn't bother me so much. I'm digging the space noises enough for it to be OK.

Ma$onic Boom (kate), Monday, 19 July 2004 11:04 (fifteen years ago) link

the album's more space-rock than September 000, kate. lots of long, slow-building, motorik chugalug psyche-rock.

stevie (stevie), Monday, 19 July 2004 11:41 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
'first wave intact' reminds me vaguely of video games.
i dunno, maybe it's the "chorus", reminds me of TurboGraphix 16...

i hear the floyd reference, but not too much.
but, the slow songs draaaaaag.

eedd, Friday, 3 September 2004 03:22 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Revive. Reeee-viiiiive.

I just saw them open up for Interpol yesterday, and the differences between the band couldn't have been much starker. Secret Machines were pretty no nonsense (you have to be, as an opener) but also pretty uncompromising. No banter. No space between songs. It also showed how nuanced the album is, since hearing them live you'd never guess there were melodies. All in all pretty cool, and the crowd seemed to dig it. At least, they were standing there paying attention, since there was little space in the music to cheer. One guy was giving the permanent thumbs down, though.

Interpol ... boy. I like them a a lot, even if I never listen to them. I had to leave their set early (read: wanted to, 'cause I was getting a headache), but it's been a while since I saw so many in the audience going nuts. Not as in "let's hit each other" nuts, but pulling each other up on one another's shoulders to shout the lyrics back at the band while pumping their fist nuts. You'd think if someone took the time to memorize Interpol lyrics they'd realize they suck, and certainly aren't worth shouting back at the band, but these dudes (mostly) were every bit as intent and intense at the crowd at Morrissey a couple of days earlier. Go figure.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 15:51 (fifteen years ago) link

i've seen both bands live and I disagree with alex in nyc, the doves felt way heavier to me live....esp when they did this live band version of a sub sub old song.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 15:57 (fifteen years ago) link

The drummer is easily the best thing about this band. They're good, though.

Jason J, Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:09 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Saw them again last night at Webster Hall!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 2 December 2005 20:38 (fourteen years ago) link

four months pass...
Sigh. God, I love them.

Wear High Heels, Get A Record Deal (kate), Monday, 1 May 2006 11:33 (fourteen years ago) link

They're playing LA tomorrow night! Hopefully it isn't sold out yet...

LOL Thomas (Chris Barrus), Monday, 1 May 2006 16:49 (fourteen years ago) link

I've still never seen them. I hear it's something like a religious experience. Good luck getting into the show - I'm jealous!

Alone, Jealous and SSRI'd (kate), Monday, 1 May 2006 17:04 (fourteen years ago) link

New album --- kind've a let down.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 1 May 2006 22:52 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...
So they don't really sound like Pink Floyd then?

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Tuesday, 1 August 2006 10:57 (thirteen years ago) link

I didn't pick up the new album since the first one was such a letdown after their EP.

from The ends of your fingers (prosper.strummer.), Tuesday, 1 August 2006 11:01 (thirteen years ago) link

Errrrrr... Not really. Except maybe early mid Pink Floyd (i.e. after Syd left but before they started to Suck.)

Did you just revive this thread to try and cheer me up?

I'm going to see their Marfa film on Saturday. I'm quite excited.

x-post FFS get one clue

Her Royal Kateness (kate), Tuesday, 1 August 2006 11:02 (thirteen years ago) link

cool!

restraint and blindness (Just got offed), Friday, 31 October 2008 19:56 (eleven years ago) link

four months pass...

s/t album very much underrated, underexposed...a real shame, because they've still got something to give

they probably drink corporate water (country matters), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 01:01 (eleven years ago) link

you mean their first ep thing? If so, then very much agree. Loved this. Now here is.. was a major disappointment afaiwc.

Plaxico (I know, right?), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 02:12 (eleven years ago) link

nono, i mean their recent s/t album. still haven't heard september 000

they probably drink corporate water (country matters), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 02:15 (eleven years ago) link

I once saw Secret Machines when they were supporting ...Trail of Dead on their Source Tags & Codes tour, around 2001-2002 I suppose. They were really, really good but gave off misleading impression as to what their forthcoming albums would sound like. When I saw them they started with a 20 minute long song, one that I think was included on September 000, only this performance was just one repeating guitar line, building and building in what would now be derided as "GYBE! style". It was mindblowing. It was tough to give the full lengths they released after that a proper chance because I went into them expecting postrock builds.

I shall always respect my elders (Z S), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 02:34 (eleven years ago) link

I saw them live in 2004ish and they blowed my mind.

been HOOS, where yyyou steene!? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 02:39 (eleven years ago) link

Now Here will have a special transition-to-college place in my hart.

been HOOS, where yyyou steene!? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 02:39 (eleven years ago) link

I saw them live in 2004ish and they blowed my mind.

Interpol tour?

ilxor, Tuesday, 3 March 2009 05:00 (eleven years ago) link

yessir

been HOOS, where yyyou steene!? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 05:00 (eleven years ago) link

I was there too!

ilxor, Tuesday, 3 March 2009 05:09 (eleven years ago) link

get dressed eeeeeasy on your evening chest.

Plaxico (I know, right?), Tuesday, 3 March 2009 10:09 (eleven years ago) link

six months pass...

self-titled record still the one i find myself going back to, although objectively NHIN might be the better album (and certainly has the more iconic songs, at the book-ends)

but dammit 'last believer, drop dead' might be a 3rd-gen FWI rip-off rhythmically but it's so fucking amazing in every other way, and the rest of the album just works really nicely in sequence

alien vs the smiths (country matters), Monday, 14 September 2009 20:48 (ten years ago) link

four months pass...

New single out now. I like it!

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 12 February 2010 01:47 (ten years ago) link

What's the title? Where can i find?

billstevejim, Friday, 12 February 2010 05:54 (ten years ago) link

Do they have anything else like "Lightning Blue Eyes?" I think it's their best song, but I haven't heard all their stuff.

billstevejim, Friday, 12 February 2010 05:57 (ten years ago) link

What's the title? Where can i find?

It's on iTunes, or listen to it here: http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?blog=122&p=7925

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 12 February 2010 06:02 (ten years ago) link

thx

billstevejim, Friday, 12 February 2010 06:29 (ten years ago) link

four years pass...

is it too early for me to say how fucking brilliant secret machines are sounding tonight ?

hope not.

i only have 'now here .. ' and 'ten silver drops', and fuck, i am on verge of genuine tears as to the perfect spots the albums are hitting.

mark e, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:22 (six years ago) link

Miss u miss u miss uuuuu u u u u u

I promised Brandon I wouldn't hate on Interpol too much right now, because they are providing a good home for Brandon right now, but jeez when I think of the things that we don't get to listen to because Brandon is off being Gillian Gilbert on yet another Interpol tour (last TSM album, Cosmicide album (Brandon's solo project) etc.) it really does make me kinda Grrrr.

But mostly missssss uuuuuuuuuuuuu

Maybe the Electric Flower Group album will hit the spot in the meantime! Read an interview with Josh today that made me hope something would be happening with that soon!

Branwell Bell, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:38 (six years ago) link

hello bb.

i did worry about posting this cos of your 'connection' to the groove.

mark e, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:41 (six years ago) link

(And yeah, I am being bratty; I am aware there are perfectly good reasons recently that Brandon can take as long as he needs to finish his stuff.)

((But really, I would much rather have new Curtis material than new Interpol. He is way more talented. There; I said it. Not even sorry!))

Branwell Bell, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:44 (six years ago) link

AFAIC, there's no better way to honour Benjamin's memory than to listen to his truly awe-inspiring music! This stuff is so great.

Branwell Bell, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 21:48 (six years ago) link

there is some excellent motorik on the debut album

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:22 (six years ago) link

It's my birthday and I'm listening to Now Here Is Nowhere.

This album will be 10 years old next month. Kinda wish like there was going to be a deluxe remaster special anniversary edition with bonus tracks and full colour glossy booklet etc but I guess not. Hard to think of another album released in the past 10 years that's had the same impact and long-lasting-ness.

Branwell Bell, Thursday, 10 April 2014 07:19 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!

http://m.noisey.vice.com/blog/cosmicide-a-new-disaster-premiere

Cosmicide - Brandon's new project. (Video is really, really visually stunning (though I'm slightly annoyed Brandon isn't in it) too - worth waiting for.)

Can't remember if I started a Cosmicide thread (probably not) or if I mentioned this on SVIIB or InterLOL threads?

The Hauntology of Celebrity (Branwell with an N), Tuesday, 7 July 2015 16:42 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Now Here is Nowhere is awesome.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 26 January 2017 19:08 (three years ago) link

I want to say I saw them open up for interpol on this tour. I had seen Interpol at a smaller club, and came away very impressed. But Interpol following the secret machines were such a bore.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 26 January 2017 19:14 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

You can vote for a vinyl reissue here http://runoutgroovevinyl.com/now-here-is-nowhere-2lp.html

Black Arkestra, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:19 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Expanded reissue of Ten Silver Drops on the way - https://shop.runoutgroovevinyl.com/ten-silver-drops-expanded-edition-1.html

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 03:04 (one year ago) link

God I loved that album. Tracks 1 through 3 are a hell of a run. They were great on the tour, as I recall.

A few years back I took a hiatus from reading about music and didn't read the news about Benjamin Curtis until a year after he died. Very sad.

Sam Weller, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 12:59 (one year ago) link

i love ten silver drops so much

princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:39 (one year ago) link

its closing track is secretly one of the best coldplayish ballads of the 00s

imago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:45 (one year ago) link

I'll have to listen again, because I haven't heard it since the week it came out and remembering thinking it a big step down from Now Here is Nowhere, which is not only a monster of an album but one of the best album *titles* of all time

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:48 (one year ago) link

the biggest secret machines secret is that the s/t album, made without benjamin curtis, is actually quite good

imago, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 13:50 (one year ago) link

otm. they nail the motorik on a few of the debut's epics

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:52 (one year ago) link

That last s/t one had some great moments. It felt like they were transitioning into a different kind of band. Would have been interesting to see where they took it. Still, it’s my least favorite of theirs.

Now Here is Nowhere is the best overall album, but some of their best songs are on Ten Silver Drops, especially the aforementioned tracks 1-3 and final track. And then thebEP has the glorious “Marconi’s Radio”.

Looking back on the 00s it just seems like this band doesn’t fall nearly into the narrative of that decade, that they’re in danger of being overlooked in the long run.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:00 (one year ago) link

Weren’t they overlooked at the time too? Idk.

29 facepalms, Tuesday, 11 September 2018 16:30 (one year ago) link

Yeah, maybe so.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 12 September 2018 00:24 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

i love ten silver drops so much

― princess of hell (BradNelson), Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:39 AM (one month ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

princess of hell (BradNelson), Saturday, 13 October 2018 16:11 (one year ago) link

https://i.imgur.com/lKxKA7P.png

princess of hell (BradNelson), Saturday, 13 October 2018 16:15 (one year ago) link

Not sure if it's mentioned upthread, but some members were in UFOFU & that record is a lot of 90s hooky rock fun, too.

BlackIronPrison, Saturday, 13 October 2018 21:11 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

New live record out now, from 2006. Glad I saw them on that tour...what a great band they were.

Sam Weller, Monday, 1 April 2019 08:10 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bQOdHcobMs

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 26 June 2020 14:55 (two weeks ago) link

what

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 26 June 2020 15:00 (two weeks ago) link

whut!?!

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 26 June 2020 15:12 (two weeks ago) link

huh!

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Friday, 26 June 2020 15:13 (two weeks ago) link

Awake in the Brain Chamber is an excellent title

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Friday, 26 June 2020 15:14 (two weeks ago) link

From AVClub, where it premiered:

It’s been far too long since we’ve heard from Secret Machines. After three excellent albums that blended haunting shoegaze, driving krautrock, and arena-ready anthemic bombast, the group quietly went its separate ways in 2010 without any formal announcement that it was taking a break. But throughout the previous decade, founding member Brandon Curtis was working on material that would eventually become Awake In The Brain Chamber, the group’s latest album and its first new music in ten years. That music begins seeing the light of day as of now, with the record’s first single, “Talos’ Corpse,” available to hear below, exclusively at The A.V. Club.

The first single finds the band employing its signature stately rhythms in service of a bright arrangement of synth and warm backing vocal patterns. “This song, for me, has the sonic vibe of Tubeway Army meeting up with John Bonham in a dark alley in the late ’70s, after seeing a Bowie concert in Paris,” says Machines’ drummer, Josh Garza. The refrain echoes an encouraging plea, alternating “I want to give, give up” with its immediate retort of “but don’t give, give up,” an inspired couplet from singer Brandon Curtis, whose distinctive baritone rasp has always anchored the group’s sound, here getting even lower in his register than usual during the verses. “I am hopeful,” he tells The A.V. Club about the song. “Ultimately, that is how I would like to describe the song. I think there are obvious influences, and we can quibble about this or that. But the vibe is hope.”

The upcoming record, composed and reworked obsessively over the past decade, bears all the classic influences of the band, including the input of Benjamin Curtis, Brandon’s brother and the band’s original guitarist, who passed away from cancer in 2013. Curtis and Garza both took pains to retain Benjamin’s influence on the final versions of the tracks, as a “sort of living tribute” to their beloved former bandmate. “I have been living with some of these songs for a long time,” Brandon says of the album. “They have witnessed a bunch of stuff that has happened in my life, the world, and so on. I feel like they are the better for it. To me the songs represent a time before, during, and after. I guess I am excited to watch these songs go out into the world and blend with other peoples’ lives. To let them be a part of some new stories.”

Ten years is a long time to work on a collection of songs, and Curtis acknowledges that he can be a bit of a perfectionist, yet also knows eventually it’s time to let go. “Ever since quarantine I’ve been cooking a lot, and I’ve found that I’m the kind of person who will play with a recipe forever. You know, sometimes things are done when the dish tastes right, and sometimes it’s just time to eat.” Listeners can feast on the sounds of Awake In The Brain Chamber when it’s released on August 21. The record is available for pre-order now.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 26 June 2020 15:57 (two weeks ago) link

doesn't have their usual pep but as with the previous album, hopefully there are a few tracks good enough to justify it

imago, Friday, 26 June 2020 17:05 (two weeks ago) link


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