The Machine


(Elektrohasch Schallplatten)

MARK: 82/100


The third album from this Dutch band comes out as a CD or a double vinyl due to its length of 79' 26". Fans of Jimi Hendrix, Colour Haze and Kyuss will be keen to rejoice through the listening of these 8 tracks, especially in the opener "Pyro", where there's a great guitarwork, fast, tireless and meaningful, whereas the drums choose to remain simple.
But there's not only Stoner, Fuzzy or Psychedelic blues rock here: "Aurora" is an instrumental made out of an acoustic guitar and synth sounds; "Medulla" contains distorted bass lines, hypnotic vocals and, unfortunately, a really boring guitar solo.
"Sunbow" or the long "Tsiolkovsky's Budget" also show vocals critically influenced by the early Alice In Chains', yet the former also has windchimes and grows a bit Eastern in the relaxed parts; on the other side, the latter is based on foils between slightly distorted and delayed guitars making way to tighter and unloosened structures; having no clue about the guitars used in this album, I cannot tell you if the slightly distorted guitar is an acoustic one with a light distortion or an electric one (like Godin ones and similar guitars) mounting piezo pickups.
However, try and add acid guitars, space effects and you'll dig why this song stuns all; ingenious and mind-penetrating!
60s harmonies, bubbling synthesizers, Layne Staley's ghost: all this is present in the short "Paradox", followed by the last two lengthy instrumental compositions. Here the guitar solos are awesome at long last and there are even a few jazzy insertions; the odd effects similar to a theremin can't really be forgotten. Astonishing music skills and solid headshaking accelerations are displayed here to make your ears bleed both in "First Unique Prime" and in the Hendrixian "Jam no. Ψ"! Actually there's a ninth track which is decidedly my favourite one, a Doom hidden track with crushing saturated guitars in the same vein of Sunn O))), bass and vocals threatening us all from far, maybe from the nether realm.
This music isn't sophisticated, nor rich in changes, and this brings to the following conclusion: it's easy to listen by oneself and at parties as background, which is not a negative comment whatsoever but an objective observation to clear your mind about what lies behind the monicker of The Machine for those who don't know them.
Delicious, refreshing, somehow different, compact, breezy, classic and at the same time open-minded and mind-opening.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - February 20th, 2011

Line-up on this record:
Davy Boogaard - d.
Hans van Heemst - b., handclaps, piano, windchimes
David Eering - electric and acoustic g., v., handclaps, tambourine, windchimes, organ, distorted b., space effects, Tibetan singing bowl, Tibetan tingsha chimes, darbuka, djembeh, synthesizer


Official sites:

-Shadow of the Machine (CD - 2007)
-Solar Corona (CD/2 LPs - 2009)
-Drie (CD/2 LPs - 2011)