Oh Sit Down

THE SECRET MACHINES STILL RULE

In Album review on May 22, 2009 at 15:34

This is The Secret Machines third offering, and the first since Benjamin Curtis left the band to form School Of Seven Bells. He formed The Secret Machines with his brother Brandon, and Josh Garza. Unfortunately for this album, simply titled Secret Machines, his absence is quite noticeable.

This release follows the same trend as the first two albums, in that it pumps out powerful beats sprinkled with very quirky and unusual lyrics. However, that unique, indescribable and unknown element that Benjamin brought to the recording studio is lacking.

The same beatbusting anthemic drums and guitars heard on First Wave Intact and Alone, Jealous and Stoned are featured on this album too, giving The Secret Machines a darker, more mystical fell than taken from Kasabian.

The aforementioned tracks First Wave Intact and Alone, Jealous and Stoned open their respective albums. This album is introduced by the kick ass Atomic Heels. It’s a tremendous tune — powerful and hard-hitting — the perfect album opener.

Last Believer, Drop Dead brings home to roost that uberpowerful beat, which effortlessly carries the song along. There are definite elements of the previous two albums shining through on this track too.

Have I Run Out showcases a superb melody sitting on top of those trademark Secret Machine beats. The track is over seven minutes long but seems a lot shorter as the song shifts mood and beat a few times.

The album seems to take a well-deserved break at this stage with Underneath The Concrete. It’s a very ordinary tune which has a gaping hole in it somewhere which needs something or somebody to fill.

Now You’re Gone features some superbly haunting vocal-mixing. Oozes emotion.

The Walls Are Starting To Crack is another ordinary composition, but has a lot of emotion filtering through the music.

I Never Thought To Ask is a fairly slow number and although the vocals are very echoey, it’s a smooth track. The feeling I get from this is that it needs a touch more creative charm to make it compulsive listening.

The closing track is The Fire Is Waiting. It drags itself along like a lame dog for over 11 minutes.

Overall, this is an album that deserves regular listening. After The Secret Machines first two fantastic albums, more was expected from this work. Perhaps expectations were too high. Perhaps the band’s direction is changing now after the departure of Benjamin.

However, The Secret Machines trademark unique sound remains in tact, and with a few minor tweaks and adjustments, they will reign supreme.

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