Secret Machines tries
to match sounds of the past
In the summer of 2000, Benjamin Curtis,
Josh Garza and Brandon Curtis joined forces to combine a wide array of
sounds into the
band Secret Machines.
Brandon and Ben are brothers who used to
play early '90s rock together. Josh was in a band called Comet, which he
becoming discontented with his situation.
Photo courtesy of Ace Fu
Secret Machines attempts
to duplicate the sounds of Pink Floyd ... but fails.
The trio took several chances in a short
period of time, beginning with its recording process done in September,
just a few months
after beginning the band together. Then,
two months later, Secret Machines moved to New York.
The album the band recorded in September
is named September 000, probably for lack of better influence or motivation.
September 000 is comprised of music from
another era, and while the music of the past is established and admirable,
it remains to
be seen whether Secret Machines utilizes
the tools of the past successfully.
There are some bands that can pull off
certain oddities in their music beautifully. For example, the crazy chaotic
ringing of seemingly
never-ending bells on the album The Wall
that surprises every Pink Floyd listener is a very strange addition to
the music, but it
serves its purpose perfectly.
Secret Machines, with a sound similar to
that of Floyd and other bands of that era (such as the Velvet Underground)
achieve the combination of free-form noise
in its music. However, the group falls short of its goal and instead produces
that is, at times, just annoying.
The very first track of the album begins
with a bell-like sound ringing at a slow pace. I could actually produce
interesting to listen to with three half-filled
glasses of water and a spoon.
After five minutes of this annoying ringing,
a new sound occurs. When the vocalist sings, with his whispery voice, it
much-appreciated change of pace. However,
the song ends less than three minutes later, leaving the majority of the
first track to the
irritating repetitive ringing noise.
Thankfully, September 000 is only six tracks
long. "What Used to Be French" and "Breathe" are both noteworthy songs.
and music on these songs blend nicely
and produce a very mellow yet appealing piece of music.
For what Secret Machines is attempting
to do, it is respectable. After all, Floyd's mellow, mood-seducing and
maybe always ... we are talking about
the '60s) drug-induced euphoric music is quite good.
It just seems that Secret Machines cannot
really pull the sound together completely.
Track five, once again, begins with ringing,
only this time it sounds like church bells. Two minutes later, the raspy
vocals and more
upbeat drumming turn the song into something
worth listening to.
The last track on the album, unfortunately,
is almost entirely terrible. There is clapping that fills some of the sound-space
the song. However, there is one offbeat
clapper that strays on the beats.
The only decent part is when the clapping
they use in the song turns into applause at the end of the song, which
also ends the
album. I was clapping too when this album
It's difficult to "feel" what Secret Machines
has done musically. Maybe it is meant to be experienced on drugs... after
all, we are talking
about a type of music similar to that
once listened to by tripped-out acid heads.
Perhaps Secret Machines will work on more
songs like the second and third tracks on the album and eventually get
a patterned, yet
non-uniform sound that works better than
that of September 000.
Ace Fu Records
— Shiley Carter
Daily Cougar Staff
Columbia Records has just released a live
concert recording of The Pledge of Allegiance Tour. The acts featured on
the bill are
Slipknot, System of a Down, Rammstein,
Mudvayne, No One and American Head Charge.
The CD was recorded, except for the Mudvayne
tracks, in Rosemont, Ill., in October. Mudvayne's tracks are taken from
its DVD L(ive)
D(osage), which was recorded in June in
System of a Down gets the first three tracks:
"Chop Suey," "Bounce" and "Toxicity." Each of these songs is from its new
Toxicity. Following System is Slipknot
with tracks from Iowa, the band's newest CD. The tracks are "People=S***,"
Anthem" and "New Abortion."
The usual Slipknot characteristics can
be found throughout the tracks: the "F-word," anti-Christianity and a sound
of raging energy
that gets adrenaline pumping.
Next on the album line up is Mudvayne,
which dropped out of the tour early due to management problems. Tracks
from its debut
album L.D. 50, "Under My Skin" and "Pharmaecopia,"
continue the mayhem on the album.
The recording differences are noticeable.
Songs that were recorded from the tour involve more of the crowd, and from
Mudvayne tracks, you get more of a studio
sound from them. American Head Charge got a one-track privilege with "Seemless."
album's final track is "My Release" from
All in all, the Pledge of Allegiance tour
album was not bad, but it could have been way better. We'll start with
the fact that Rammstein
didn't have any recordings on the album.
The German rock band is just as popular as Slipknot, the headliner of the
tour. Hits such
as "Du Hast" would have definitely been
Also, having more tracks from the other
bands on tour would have been a plus. System of a Down's "Pluck," "Suit
Pee" and "Sugar"
were left out, along with Slipknot's "Wait
and Bleed" and "Spit it Out." These additions would have helped the album.
It seems apparent, due to the lack of tracks,
that this CD was a last- minute idea.
Next time, instead of buying the CD, I'll
save the $10 and shell out $17 extra to go see the actual show.
The Pledge of Allegiance Tour: Live Recording
— Mauro Alvarez
Daily Cougar Staff