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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Crushed

My Machine

Review by Greg Olma

My Machine is one of those albums that grows on you without you realizing it. It is almost insidious the way these songs infect you. I’ll admit, the first time around I didn’t think much of this record but after about 3 or 4 spins, I started to hum along. The band hails from Phoenix, Arizona which is kind of refreshing to see a band that isn’t from the usual rock/metal pool getting some promotion. There seems to be a growing trend of rock bands like Crushed emerging. Now when I say rock, I mean “rock,” not metal. For a while there, we lost bands like this to metal or pop. This CD is just good old fashion rock. Sure there is some heavy riffing compliments of Mark Lauer and Mike Halland and occasionally Lauer uses a new metal vocal style but that just gives My Machine an extra uniqueness while still fitting into the rock genre. I also have to give the band credit for putting 14 songs on their debut CD without a bad track in sight. You will have your favorites for sure but this is the kind of CD that you could play all the way through. Classic rock radio should pick this up because it fits that format perfectly. I hope we hear more from these guys because it would be a shame if this was their only release. But then again, if you were only able to leave one mark on the music scene, My Machine would be a pretty darn good one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
What Kind of Life
The CD starts off with a cool fuzzy guitar sound that continues throughout the whole record. It is a mid paced rocker with a good vocal delivery by Lauer. There is an organic feel to his vocals. He may push it here and there but it is mostly natural.
Hovering
This cut has a very Alice In Chains sound/vibe to it. It has a grunge-y vocal delivery that fits perfectly with the music.
Dwell
The intro is very Iron Maiden-ish. This slow rocker has a cool vibe and the vocals remind me of some of the 80’s new wave vocals - not on the whole track but in parts.
Ether
If I had to choose a favorite, this tune would probably win. The verses have a new wave sound but the chorus is definitely more rock/metal. The drummer creates a nice groove during the verses.
Unbroken
The grunge sound comes in again and we get some more modern metal vocals on the chorus. This is one of the tracks that will grab you and have you humming the melody all day.
Crash Coping
I like this tune but if I had only a few minutes, I would skip it. It has a new wave-ish sounding intro but the fuzzy guitar sound throws it into the rock realm. Like I said, it is good but not great.
Further Down
Here is another catchy track that reminds me a little of Brother Cane. I would put this one in the top 5 of this record. Underneath the vocals during the verses, there is a very Black Sabbath-like riff that is really infectious.
Leaving
This rocker has a very 80’s rock sound to it. The vocals have a new wave style to them and the band manages to continue giving us catchy songs. Crushed have a great sense of melody and this cut is a great example of that.
A Game of You
A mixture of punk and new metal is what you get here. It starts off with a punk intro and then jumps into new metal territory. At just under 2 ½ minutes, it is the perfect length.
Everything's Gone
I’m surprised this is so late in the track order because it is a really cool acoustic ballad. It does provide a nice break from the rockers on the album.
March
The vocals have that new wave delivery again which is a nice contrast to the heavy riffing. Even though this is towards the end of the CD, I would recommend listening all the way through a few times. This is one of the tunes that didn’t do much for me at first but slowly grew on me.
Deeper
Like “Crash Coping,” this is a good cut but not one I would listen to if I had limited time. It is a rocker and I would let it run through if time permitted but it is still not one of my favorites (but that could change with repeated play like some of the other songs).
Nocturnal
This intro is probably the most metallic riffing on the CD. The track has a nice groove and I keep going back to the song a lot. The overall tune is metal but it is not indicative of the whole record.
Bell Hooks
The drummer creates a nice tribal beat for the guitars to play over on this mid paced rocker. These guys know how to end an album because this catchy track makes you want to start the whole disc over again.
 
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