Alright, fine. I'll admit it: for once, major magazines have
got it right. For years they've been glorifying mediocre sluts
like the Strokes and the White Stripes as saviors
of rock, to the point that the phrase "next big thing"
became a synonym for "next big letdown." So naturally,
when buzz started building around the Secret Machines,
I was cautious, to the say the least.
It took exactly four minutes and thirteen seconds, the length
of their single, "Nowhere Again", to assuage my fears.
No, they're not making history or saving an entire genre, but
that doesn't mean they don't have talent in super-hero proportions.
If ever you could call shoegazer music grandiose, now would be
the time. Josh Garza's epic drums, Benjamin Curtis's
multi-faceted guitars, Brandon Curtis's throbbing base
and floating keys, and above all the mesmerizing interwoven vocals
between the Curtis brothers, all combine to produce a sound that
is both exhilarating and larger than life. Except for their foray
into amorphous, ethereal songwriting in "The Leaves Are Gone"
and "You Are Chains", every song on their debut album
Now Here In Nowhere pounds itself into the listener's bloodstream
with forceful determination. But while it's all infectious and
energizing, it never gets overbearing. Even with two songs clocking
in around nine minutes, at no time does the album feel redundant
or monochromatic. There's a remarkable aesthetic quality that
shifts mood and tone in subtle and captivating ways.
Produced by the Secret Machines themselves, the album is a reflection
of their live performance, where each song flows into the next,
with a bare minimum of extraneous bullshit to pull the listener
out of the moment. In this respect, both the live show and the
album have a meditative quality as if, by participating, the audience
is leaving their body and mind to explore that elusive connection
between sound and spirit. It's an acid trip, but without the acid.
And while comparisons are constantly being made to Pink Floyd,
there's nothing about this album that seems derivative, or nostalgic.
This album is purely one of our generation.
So I guess I should thank mainstream music media: for once,
you've gotten it right. There's nothing secret about the fact
that these guys are going to be huge.
1. First Wave Intact
2. Sad And Lonely
3. The Leaves Are Gone
4. Nowhere Again
5. The Road Leads Where It's Lead
6. Pharaoh's Daughter
7. You Are Chains
8. Light's On
9. Now Here Is Nowhere
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!