Tuesday 26 March 2013

Supermachine - S/T (Album Review)

Album Type  : Full Length
Date Released : 14/5/2013 
Label : Small Stone Recordings

Supermachine, album tracklisting:
  1. Solution 4:02
  2. Broken 3:40
  3. Transformer 3:07
  4. MT 3:25
  5. Josey Wales 4:08
  6. Flesh Farm 3:53
  7. Buffalo 4:02
  8. Pill Cruise 3:12
  9. Crutch 4:09
  10. Heavy Bullet 4:24
  11. Warlord 3:36
In a tucked away forgotten tank factory in Southern New Hampshire – amidst a flurry of flying electrical sparks, and ungoverned volume knobs – Supermachine started to coalesce and take shape. Constructed from pieces brought back from the scrap heap, along with the acquisition of a newly added component to front the whole of the creation… the band has finally emerged and is now ready to take on the future. Lead with sludge-heavy hook laden riffs, monstrous stoic bass lines – that will not only loosen your fillings but might even cause a cavity or two – drums that will fill every pocket of that 70’s 3 piece leisure suit, and vocals that soar with melody and grit… Supermachine is in fact, a super machine.

With members that have an already established, built-in interwoven history, there is immediate chemistry between the entirety of the unit. Jay Fortin (Guitars), and Paul Jarvis (Bass), are both founding members of the band Scissorfight – though their history begins long before and continues on after that behemoth of a musical force emblazoned its sound in the cerebral caverns of all humanity. The connection these two share along with the bond they have with Mike “Mick” McNeil (Drums) who played with the two of them in Hemicuda – a precursor to Scissorfight – begins to describe a solid cohesive unit within the working loins of the Supermachine. The latest, and final piece of the band is fire-slingin’ vocalist David Nebbia. Nebbia comes into the fold after a chance encounter via email with Jay, where he inquired about the acquisition of some leather cuffs (don’t ask). The transaction also introduced the notion of Nebbia showing up to the tank factory to try his hand at fronting the newly established vehicle. The rest is for the world to witness. If you haven’t seen them yet, it’s only a matter of time before you hear them coming…

Line up
Jay Fortin - Guitars
Paul Jarvis - Bass
Mike McNeil - Drums
David Nebbia  -Vocals


Hailing from the rock and roll super-hub of Portsmouth, New Hampshire (okay, maybe not), Supermachine plays a no-nonsense style of heavy rock n roll.  Taking a page from Small Stone Records label mates Deville, Dixie Witch, Sun Gods in Exile, to name a few, Supermachine steps back into the 90s for inspiration.  Black Crowes, whiffs of grunge and even heavier bands like Load-era Metallica are all detectable within the grooves of this record.
It’s pretty much a safe assumption these days that anything released by Small Stone Records contains twice the daily recommended dose of hard rockin’ melody and Supermachine’s recipe proves no exception.  Largely absent here is the fuzz tone so synonymous with the label, the bulk of the ‘slack’ is picked up by the wah, which gets a good workout slangin’ funk grooves.
The band labels their particular brand of music as “ginormous rock”.   Opening track “Solution” is as “ginormous” as the band claims with plenty of dropped out moments and open spaces carried by the vocal talents of David Nebbia and drumming of Mike McNeill.  The momentum the band picks up when the guitars slam back in is enough to take the head clean off the listener’s shoulders.
As the disc spins on, the band constantly explores different worlds of melody.  “MT” takes counterpoint to a whole new level and makes for a strong cut.  “Josey Wales” sees the band get in touch with their inner Black Crowes, as touched on above, laying out some southwestern blues licks as a change of pace.  The very next track “Flesh Farm” has an Alice in Chains thing going on and it’s at this point, about half way through that things begin to fall into place and make sense.  Stoner rock is not really the best label to put on this thing, even though that may be what you’re expecting from the label.  This is a classic hard rock record with strutting, slinking riffs and drumming that does more with less.  Overall the 11 tracks on this disc is like a tour of different sounds from the nineties, updated and doubled in weight.
The band manages to step up to the plate and crush it towards the end of the disc with “Pill Cruise”, “Crutch” and “Heavy Bullet” in succession.  This is the moment when everything the band has been building up to comes together in blistering fashion.  Mammoth grooves, crushing riffs, catchy choruses and melodies are all on display here.  With all the stops the band takes along the way, by the end of the album you realize what a wild ride it’s been.
Unfortunately nothing else on this record quite matches the monumental power of the opening salvo, “Solution”, but there’s more than enough hard rockin’ material here to get you a few speeding tickets by the end of the disc.
Words by : Lucas Klaukien

As always show your support to the band.  Buy the record directly from Small Stones bandcamp here.  Thanks to Scott as always at Small Stones for hooking us up.  Another solid record to add to the exemplary list.  Be sure to check the links below.