Monday, August 21, 2006

Welcome My Friend to The Secret Machines

It's Monday, and usually here at (i'm just sayin') we do the monster mash and post a mashup for you to enjoy. Well, I gotta be honest here, I really don't see anything worth sending your way this week. I did get the "Grey Album" by Jay-Z, but I think I'll save that for another time. Post a comment here if you miss the monster mash, and I'll get some more stuff up for you next week. So, what do I want to bring to your attention today? Today, I'd like you to enjoy the sounds of the Secret Machines.

The Secret Machines
are a Brooklyn New York
based trio with a sound that is unlike anything coming out of the area. No my friends, they are not another Strokes rip off. If Wolfmother draws positive comparisons to Black Sabbath, the Secret Machines's hypnotic, psychedelic and lush songs that pass the seven minute mark are reminiscent of Pink Floyd, 80's era Rush, and Led Zeppelin. Sure, that's quite an impressive list of bands to be compared to, but the Secret Machines not only live up to it, they make their music their own. Their first major label release "Now Here Is Nowhere" is a must own. It had been years since I had heard an album that warranted a complete listen to from the first track to the last. The Secret Machines accomplished that. Remember the feeling you had when you heard "Grace Under Pressure" for the first time? How about "Wish You Were Here?" You'll relive that feeling again when you hear this album.

So who are these guys? The band members are bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Brandon Curtis, his brother guitarist/vocalist Ben Curtis, and drummer Josh Garza. While the brothers work the sonics and supply the vocals, the secret weapon in the Secret Machines is Garza. If you love your drums loud ala John Bonham, then see this band live. Garza plays the skins like every song was "When The Levee Breaks," and never lets up.

Back in April of this year, the band released their second album called "Ten Silver Drops." It is an interesting follow up to "Now Here Is Nowhere" because it is not nearly as upbeat as their debut. It just doesn't "rock" as much per se, it's moody. Where the first album was tight, the new one is loose and much more spacious with it's sound. It's definitely one to played after midnight. Here's a video to "All At Once," the most upbeat track on the album.

I saw the band play at Avalon in Hollywood in support of the first album a couple of years ago, and the impression I got was that the band is still finding it's niche, and it's audience is still finding them. I felt that we in the audience were the ones catching a band on the rise, in the early stages of a long career. I could visualize them somewhere down the line playing huge arenas with a helluva light show. It was the same feeling I had when I saw Phish in the early nineties, and just look what happened to them. The band has announced a bunch of tour dates and plan to play small clubs in the round. The image to the right is the floorplan for the show. Ever hear of that? I'm tellin you, hop on the bandwagon before the secret gets out (pun intended) and see them now!

Wanna hear the band live? I found a live show on a fan's website you should check out. The sound quality is about a 7/10, not exactly a soundboard recording, but there at least isn't any audience jibber jabber during the songs. You'll get a good idea of what the band sounds like. Here's the link to the 2004 Berlin show: Also, for your consideration, I've included live versions of the first track off their new album, "Alone, Jealous, and Stoned" and "The Road Leads Where It's Led" from "Now Here Is Nowhere." These two songs are from their May 3rd appearance on Morning Becomes Eclectic as heard on KCRW. Enjoy!

For Your Consideration:
The Secret Machines - Alone, Jealous, and Stoned (Live) MP3

The Secret Machines - The Road Leads Where It's Led (Live) MP3

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