Machine Head
Supercharger


2.0
poor

Review

by Greggers USER (20 Reviews)
June 26th, 2009 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rapping? Turntables? This IS the same band that made Burn My Eyes right?

Machine Head’s debut, Burn My Eyes, will forever be noted as one of the all time seminal groove metal albums, along with Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, and Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. It’s also one of the greatest metal albums of the 90’s: heavy, angst filled, and with balls the size of Texas. Machine Head were a band with limitless potential, and their follow-up release, The More Things Change, built on the foundations laid by their debut. Unfortunately it was around this time that nu-metal reared it’s ugly head, and in a bid to jump on the bandwagon as it were, The Burning Red, their third album, took a lot of influence from this said genre. While it gained them new fans, it also alienated many of their old ones who believed the band had sold out. With Supercharger, Machine Head had two choices: continue on their nu-metal path and gain more popularity, or revert to the style on their previous albums and risk losing their new fans.

They chose poorly.

Supercharger is an awful album, showing a great band at the very worst. Every speck of brilliance from Burn My Eyes is blown away by a whirlwind of turntables, rapping, appauling lyrics and uninspired instrumentation.

The glorified intro, The Declaration, leads straight into Bulldozer, one of the stronger tracks on the album, featuring a solid riff and Robb Flynn’s instantly recognisable barked voice. The problems start on the next song, White Knuckle Blackout!, which introduces Robb’s extremely weak attempt at rapping. The song (along with the other 13 on the album) also features some incredibly bad lyrics:

Adrenaline is my fuel when I've an obstacle to climb
Adrenaline is the lubrication, focusing my mind
Adrenaline is telling me when someone's thinking they're too cool
To raise my middle fingers up and say "*** you”


Or how about in the title track:

Charge me, charge you
Charge us, charge through
Amplify, terrify
Supercharger electrifies


Is this the same man who wrote lines such as “let freedom ring with a shotgun blast”" This album shows that Robb has run out subjects to be angry about, often re-treading old ground, such as his broken childhood (Trephination), the state of modern society (Blank Generation), and just general ignorance of other people (Nausea, Kick You When You’re Down).

The problems don’t end there though; the lead single, Crashing Around You, shows exactly why Robb should stick to screams and growls. His weak singing voice comes across as cheesy and pretentious as he whines “when will you see that you cannot hide from me"” What’s even more surprising is when he decides to go all Tarzan on us for no apparent reason on American High. Coincidentally, it’s this very same song that features an abundance of turntable scratching for no apparent reason other than to sound hip and trendy with the youngsters.

One thing I loved about Burn My Eyes is that it actually sounds like a revolution. The groove riffs and pounding drums mimic the sound of marching troops and rebels ready for action. That sound is totally lost on Supercharger: the guitars sound thin and lack power, the bass is inaudible for the most part and the drums sound more like a marching band than marching troops; basic metal fills dominate the album without any inspiration or enthusiasm portrayed in the slightest.

So, are there any redeeming features on Supercharger" Well, in the context of the album, there are a few songs which aren’t THAT bad. The aforementioned Bulldozer, plus Trephination and Nausea make the most of a bad situation and form three credible songs. Not highlights in Machine Head’s catalogue by any means, but they certainly stand out on an album filled with mediocre material.

I suppose that we should be thankful that Supercharger marked the end of an awkward period in Machine Head’s career. For their next two albums they reverted back to their signature sound, leaving behind any trace of nu-metal influence portrayed on this record as well as The Burning Red. However, a simple revert back to their old sound doesn’t erase two mediocre records from their catalogue, having said that, if you’re a huge Machine Head or nu-metal fan then by all means go pick this up, you may find some enjoyment out of it. Everyone else should do themselves a favour and stay well clear.

Overall – 2/5

Recommended Tracks

Bulldozer
Trephination
Nausea



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user ratings (657)
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2.4
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Not devoid of filler material and under the questionable “nu metal” label, Supercharger may not ...



Comments:Add a Comment 
feehan
June 26th 2009


56 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i agree.



bulldozer is a beast of a tune tho

Phantom
June 26th 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I found it funny how the lead single "Crashing Around You" came out just before September 11 (yes THE September 11)



Pretty much set the album up for a fail.



Bulldozer and Trephination are ok, but the only MH albums worth hearing are Burn My Eyes, Through The Ashes Of Empires and The Blackening.





Metalstyles
Emeritus
June 26th 2009


8573 Comments


a very well written review sir, certainly gave me a good idea of how the album sounds

Wizard
June 26th 2009


20204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Unfortunately it was around this time that nu-metal reared it’s ugly head,



Obviously not cool enough for the nu-metal!



by a whirlwind of turntables,



Very little do you actually here any turn tables..... wait a minute....where exactly do you hear the turntables other than on "American High" which is still a little bit? This is very misleading.



I kind of feel like this review is redundant. I mean, did you set out to teach something that everyone else didn't know? I think everyone is on the same page as you ; ). Pos' for review.



but the only MH albums worth hearing are Burn My Eyes, Through The Ashes Of Empires and The Blackening.



You forgot The More Things Change... dummy.



Phantom
June 26th 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

To a lesser extent, yes.

Wizard
June 26th 2009


20204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

You're a lesser extent ; ).

Phantom
June 26th 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

HOW DARE YOU!

Wizard
June 26th 2009


20204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Your avatar scares me.

Phantom
June 26th 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ohhhhh, you're my wife now

Wizard
June 26th 2009


20204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Do I have to make you a pie?

Phantom
June 26th 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Several.



Cherry would be best.







...This album is poor.

Wizard
June 26th 2009


20204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Then why the average rating? hahaha



There is much worse in the nu-metal genre but in terms of selling yourself short and trying to make a quick buck....this takes the cake (or pie).

Phantom
June 26th 2009


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm being generous ;)

DatsNotDaMetulz
May 27th 2013


3774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think there are any turntables on this, Flynn just likes using odd guitar techniques and was probably scratching his pick against the strings on his guitar to get a similar sound. I've done it with similar results before.

NeoSpaz
May 27th 2013


4529 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah, he scratches his guitar strings, i've seen footage of it. they do it post this album too, so

it's evident



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