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The Secret Machines - September 000 CD (album) cover


The Secret Machines

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Wow. Since when are The Secret Machines on here? Love these guys... but I'm a little hesitant calling them prog.

Oh well, as long as they're here, might as well review them, right?

This one's pretty difficult to find. It's an early EP. I snagged it off eBay years ago after hearing It's a Bad Wind that Don't Blow Somebody Some Good on some website. I fell in love with the exotic sound (this was before I discovered the joys of prog).

Indeed, this is the disc of their's that I'd feel most comfortable referring to as prog. The first track, Marconi's Radio pt. 1, builds up slowly to an intoxicatingly melancholic lyrical section. Much of this disc is like that; slow build to an intoxicating center. The last track, the reprise of the first, is an exception. It's a furiously up-tempo song that ends the mostly down-beat EP on a positive note. Breathe, too, is more up-tempo than the other tracks. It's a fun little rock song.

You can definitely hear their influences, though; some early Flaming Lips, a little Radiohead, and definitely some Floyd. I hear Floyd especially in It's a Bad Wind that Don't Blow Somebody Some Good. That song reminds me a little of One of these Days. I definitely hear Oh My Gawd!! era Flaming Lips in Breathe. But while you can squarely place the influences, Secret Machines don't resort to being carbon cut-outs. They stay fresh while tipping a hat to their predecessors.

The interesting thing about September 000 is that TSM completely abandoned this style after the release of this EP. Their later releases are more cacophonous alt rock albums with a slight hint of glam.

I'll tell you honestly, this is my favorite disc from The Secret Machines and I do wish they'd resort back to this style. It's simple, but with good instrumentation and awesome vocals from Brandon Curtis.

If it weren't for this EP, I might not have ever gotten into prog. It was sorta gateway music for me. I just happened to stumble on it at the perfect time in my life when I wanted something that mainstream music just couldn't offer. This is a superbly entertaining album and one that I've yet to grow tired of over the years. If you can find this, I'd strongly urge you to track it down.

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Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permalink

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