MM9
The Air Between


2.0
poor

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
March 27th, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not music to get angry to. Rather, music to get angry about.

In spite of being the same basic band, there is actually a distinct difference between Many Machines on Nine and MM9. Blending a love of heavy rock and industrial music, Many Machines on Nine began as an ambitious young group with a slew of songs that, whilst not entirely inventive, had plenty of energy and memorable choruses to keep you at least slightly interested. Their change from their full name to MM9 would sadly be much more of a reflection on their new direction than perhaps they might have hoped. MM9 is the shorthand, text message version of the band's name for people that couldn't be bothered writing or saying the entire thing. In turn, the band's debut album, The Air Between, is the dumbed-down, popified version of what the band used to sound like; like taking footage of the band on your mobile instead of listening to a high-quality recording. It's as if they've sabotaged thier established sound intentionally in order to appeal to a demographic that has a slower thought process. Whatever the case, we're on to an unfortunate mess here.

So where exactly did it turn sour? The choruses are still very much an unstoppable force, more often than not being the defining moment of the songs in question. Credit is also due to the inventive, storm-the-gates style of drumming that Ben Ellingsworth brings to the songs, in which he tries to keep things as lively as possible. Sure, it's easy to bounce along to the bulk of these tracks. Don't pay too much attention while you're moshing, however, or you'll start to notice that it's just a watered down Butterfly Effect with some synthesizer thrown in and a larger desire to crack commercial radio. Mostly, the band find themselves in a more derivative and sterile state than ever before, and you need look no further than the album's very first track to find a perfect example of this. "Talking To Himself" is a song that barely has an original bone in its entire body: it nicks the Soft Cell "Tainted Love" chord progression, has lyrics about Romeo and Juliet and features Dan Sutherland's comatose-inducing vocals that sound like a drugged-up Joel Madden. As a matter of fact, most of the album sounds like cuts from Good Charlotte's last album, the atrocious Good Morning Revival. If that sounds unappetizing, be prepared for the absolute worst - the rest of the album is destined to leave a bad taste.

The Air Between has all the calling cards of an "alternative" band trying to sound as mainstream as possible. The production is squeaky clean, every track is under five minutes and the squelching synths parade over the top of gimmicky electronic beats and Livejournal angst lyrics. "They Murder" is unlistenable from its chorus onwards (sample lyrics: "They murder!/They murder!/They murder!/They murder!"), "Drama Drama" shoots for a hit single and lands as a Pendulum B-side, "SOSOS" is pointless anti-authoritarian drivel and "A Devil Once Said" sounds as if the only reason it exists is to be a wrestler's entrance theme song. What is the most confusing about this sudden artificiality is that it's a sound that is more likely than not to deter fans of the band's previous work without ensuring there'll be new ones to pick up the slack. Rather than actually sounding like a professional, humourless rock band, they sound like they're trying to be one. Why anyone, especially such a young band, would want to fit into that kind of slot is anyone's guess, but rest assured it certainly doesn't work in their favour.

The Air Between is vapid, hollow and unpleasant. More industrialised than industrial, MM9 have transitioned into pop-rock for meatheads and it doesn't appear there's any turning back. Just don't say they've sold out - it's generally understood you have to have some kind of major commercial success in order to do so. The Air Between is more a radio-rock wet dream than a reality.



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user ratings (5)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
March 27th 2010


5803 Comments


first paragraph: their*

ace review

taylormemer
March 27th 2010


4917 Comments


How could you possibly recommend Stack is the New black. Blasphemy.

AtavanHalen
March 27th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It was in bitterness

AtavanHalen
March 27th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

first paragraph: their*


Umm, no?

taylormemer
March 27th 2010


4917 Comments


Should include (in bitterness), so I don't freak out.

Vooligan
March 27th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was going to start writing a review for this tomorrow, but this does the job for me.

I think i like this a little more than you, David, but yeah, is a dissapointing album. I was looking forward to it so much as well.

AtavanHalen
March 27th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Did you READ my review of that fucking record?

Ponton
Emeritus
March 27th 2010


5803 Comments


It's as if they've sabotaged thier established


its spelled "their" not thier, right? not trying to be a jerk or anything

taylormemer
March 27th 2010


4917 Comments


"Did you READ my review of that fucking record?"

Yes I did. But as you know, you're pretty easily stirred by me. Nothing seems to have changed.

AtavanHalen
March 27th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ohh right Observer. I thought you meant I had used a there when I should have used a their.

Also, =[, go to sleep.

Vooligan
March 27th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I miss Trains and New Chemistry era MM9.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2010


20857 Comments


DavID/Billy, will I like this? Careful the way you answer now. LOL.

Vooligan
March 27th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You'd like it more than we did, it is pretty generic though. There are some fun moments here and there.

www.myspace.com/mmnine

See what you think.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2010


20857 Comments


Will do. I must give Calling All Cars a listen soon also. I'm almost certain I'd like that album.

Vooligan
March 27th 2010


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You'll love Calling All Cars, i can tell you that right now.

AtavanHalen
March 27th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

CAC are fucking sick.

dre458
April 26th 2010


3 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I feel like I should hate this.
The electronics, the over-produced vocals, the poppy structures...
But somehow it's awesome

happyeskimo
September 10th 2010


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I am going to completely disagree with this review, whilst respecting your opinion. This is the best album of the year (yes I know everyone will disagree with me), however for mine this album is just incredible. The live show to accompany these songs is amazing. MM9 are one of, if not the best, live band in Australia (again my opinion). I love this album, the people in the band, and the show they put on. MM9 Thanks for bringing lots of fun to australian music!



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