Review Summary: No wonder The Machine is so calm, as proven here, this band has nothing to worry about!
Good stoner rock isn’t that which you want to groove to, it’s that which you have
to groove to. When the music is infectious enough to leave you no choice but to move to the beat, then you know the artist is doing something right.
On their fourth album “Calmer Than You Are”, Dutch stoner rock act The Machine doesn’t just do it right; this power-trio from Rotterdam does so while employing a variety of styles through the 45 minute runtime of this album, as said from the band itself:
“Their music characterizes itself as powerful with a lot of dynamics: ranging from hard-hitting rock to spaced out jams with a more experimental approach. Their very own sound is a compromise between organic and groovy drumming, inventive low end pounding and a punishing wall of guitar with some old school lead work.”
The big plus about Calmer than You Are is its variety. Some tracks are spacey atmospheric psychedelic songs reminiscent of the mid-to-late 60’s, such as the intro track ‘Moonward’, which features a slow paced baseline coupled by drums and a sitar. Others are heavy bluesy jams with plenty of good ol’-fashioned riffs for the rockers among us, such as ‘Scrooch’ which features generous scoopings of guitar distortion and an infectious groove that warrants plenty of replay value.
Then there are the experimental tracks, where odd instruments and melodies are chosen. The song ‘Repose’ for example, goes at an odd tempo that might be initially difficult for listeners to get used to, but it eventually grows on repeated listens. Other experimental tracks can tend to drag on a bit, but this never becomes too big a problem.
As much as it is interesting, Calmer Than You Are isn’t exactly the most accessible album. Experimentation abounds throughout the course of CTYA’s 45 minute run and might prove to be alienating for some listeners. As a result, multiple listens are needed to really enjoy ‘Calmer Than You Are’, and honestly, this is not a bad thing, because these guys have plenty of talent as shown here, and there's plenty to enjoy while getting used to the experimentation.
Album Rating: 4.5
holy shit it's my 10th review, written for Judio's "review a random album" game
Digging: King Hobo - King Hobo
Congrats on ten reviews, Mr. Thortenburger. Have a pos.
Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die
Album Rating: 4.5
thanks man, appreciate it!
Digging: Throbbing Gristle - Part 2: The Endless Not
Album Rating: 5.0
best album of all time
Pos'd, nice work Sharktooth! Short but sweet review, an interesting read indeed. Only thing I noticed is that I think there should be a space between your first and second paragraphs, until you didn't mean to put "On their fourth..." on another line.
Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro
Album Rating: 4.5
thanks Judio, fixed that part.
Great review, short and simple. Pos'd.
The edits definitely helped, good work, pos'd!
This is a funking great album, needed a review. Awesome blend of Kyuss and Colour Haze, every song is a jayum. Streaming here btw: http://youtu.be/6C2QswZKxxc
Nice Mad., I think I'm gonna listen to it in the future.
I'd definitely recommend it, and judging by your taste, you'd dig.
Nicely written, pos!
Been listening to this album a few times in the last couple of weeks thanks to Mad's recommendation, well worth the effort.
If anyone likes this then check out Sungrazer who they did a split EP with recently - either of their studio albums are fucking killer. Must be whatever the Dutch are smoking.
Haha no problem man. I need to relisten to Sungrazer, I've heard the split EP but haven't listened to any of their albums all the way through.
The Netherlands is an awesome place - Astrosoniq are also from there, pretty damn unique stoner band. Plus Roadburn festival, I have to get myself to one of those before I die.
Hardly a weak track on either of them, I loved Mirador when I heard it but the s/t is even better, have had it on rotation for months. Just such a fuzzed out, chilled record. Heard they split up recently which is a shame, definitely would've been keen to see them live somewhere.
Only been to Amsterdam for a stag weekend but yeah it's a cool place, you have to be careful with the cakes over there!
Always thought Roadburn was in the USA for some reason...interesting! You're based near London aren't you? They have the Desertfest every year around Camden which I keep meaning to get to, looks like a similar thing. The Machine were headlining this year in fact.
Yeah I was planning on going to Desertfest this year but I couldn't find anyone to go with part from maybe my dad who isn't into stoner rock at all, as are my friends, which kinda sucks. It was a pretty awesome line-up this year, definitely gonna try and make it next year.
Nah, the US stoner rock scene doesn't seem to be as good as Europe's right now. Ron van Herpen, vox/guitar from Astrosoniq had an hour-long jam session at Roadburn this year, played a half-hour version of their song Red Glow, I'd have killed to see that.
Will you just take it easy?
Calmer than you are.
Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson
Damn I just realised, it comes from the Big Lebowski, doesn't it
It's a tough one, sometimes you have to buy a mate a ticket and talk them into it...luckily I know a few people who at least like Sabbath and QotSA so it's not too much of a stretch to take them to say, Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu or Clutch. There's always beer if they're not enjoying it too much.
Yeah I guess I could try that. Most of my friends are more into hip hop etc. though :/
Beer always helps.
Album Rating: 4.5
"Damn I just realised, it comes from the Big Lebowski, doesn't it"
holy crap it is from the Big Lebowski!