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7/10

Secret Machines - Secret Machines

Mike Haydock
Mike Haydock 13 January 2009 at 22.38

Secret Machines - Secret Machines Cover

For a band that choose to dwell on riffs and hate to rush, Secret Machines have been remarkably prolific. Averaging on an album every two years...

For a band that choose to dwell on riffs and hate to rush, Secret Machines have been remarkably prolific. Averaging on an album every two years, this eponymous record is the band’s third since ‘Now Here Is Nowhere’ in 04, and it comes off the back of the departure of guitarist Ben Curtis in 07. Unfazed, Secret Machines have picked up from where they left off, recruiting former Tripping Daisy guitarist Phil Karnats in the process, and manufacturing more lumbering, mountainous space-rock anthems. This is both the biggest strength of this new album and also its biggest weakness: for fans of the band, it will slot neatly into the Secret Machines canon; for those of us looking for something extra, something new, ‘Secret Machines’ disappoints. The band jam on their riffs for ages, despite the riffs not being particularly exciting, and the once-memorable Secret Machines melodies have disappeared, Brandon’s voice dissolving in the mush. Fortunately, there are still glimmers of greatness to hold the album aloft – the pretty licks of ‘Underneath The Concrete’, the thumping pop of ‘Now You’re Gone’, the twisting crescendo of ‘The Walls Are Starting To Crack’ – but overall it’s impossible to stop your mind wandering when listening to this.

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