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Fun Machine biography
Fun Machine are a New Jersey based band that takes a humorous and light approach in their music, but it does not mean their music is devoid of complexity, beauty and appeal. This foursome has released in 2008 their first album called Sonnenhuhn (Sun Chicken); an album multi part songs, with much variety in it, in terms of styles and emotions. As they state in their bio, they carry a campaign among others, against the mundane and the stagnant - two attributes which are definitely not part of their music, as it portrays ongoing changes of mood, tempo, volume and style.
Recommended for fans of Cardiacs, Make A Rising, The Mars Volta, Shining

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2.95 | 6 ratings

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2.00 | 1 ratings
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 Sonnenhuhn by FUN MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.95 | 6 ratings

Fun Machine Eclectic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars Fun Machine is one of the quirkiest bands I have ever encountered. Overall, this album is a really busy mixed bag that doesn't develop any of its ideas- musical ADHD, if you will. Pieces stop and completely change directions right in the middle with little or no transition whatsoever- something that has always turned me off. The vocals are terrible, really, ranging from two people seemingly trying to sing over the other to unbearable ranting. Certain performances prove that there are definitely excellent musicians on board, but at times they seem to be doing their own thing, only to fuse the individual tracks together and call it a song. As strange as it sounds, I would say this band sounds like what it would be like if Genesis played music like The Mars Volta- try to let that sink in for a bit. This is recommended to those who favor experimentation (or perhaps headaches) over melody, but I suspect most folks can safely pass.

"Sun Chicken" This is a throwaway introduction track of drilling noises.

"Blok People" Noisy and agitating, the first proper piece has an intriguing introduction, but soon turns into a long series of electronic notes and noises. Two minutes in, there's finally something special going on: The loose battering of the band, a bass solo with some very good synthesizer over it, and clever guitar riffs. But in the final third, it's back to dissonance and eccentricity, especially with the abrupt and completely unexpected introduction of goofy vocals. The choral ending is absolutely horrendous.

"Liquid Pants" This piece is more to my liking, even if I still think the vocals awful. The synthesizer and Mellotron makes it sound as though Tony Banks himself was sitting in! The bass and drumming are also exceptional. The sudden guitar led part sounds borrowed from Pink Floyd, but only superficially. While the guitar is certainly delightful, the same cannot be same for the rest of the instrumentation, which almost spoils it.

"Lost In Glascow" This one opens with fast synthesizer runs and punctuated rhythm, but soon degenerates into a musical and vocal train wreck- the band is all over the place. Suddenly the frenetic music stops and thirty seconds of gentle piano takes over- a bit random and pointless really.

"Blok 1" The keyboard tone is fascinating on this one (I haven't heard anything quite like that opening lead). Otherwise, this is a jarring song with a sputtering rhythm- the musical equivalent of repeated whiplash. It is strident and painful- of course that will appeal to some. And of course, there's an ending that has nothing to do with anything that came prior in the track- just something tacked on.

"Flaking Reality" This song actually has a feel of normalcy, with a coherent rhythm and actual verses. With that thin organ and simple structure, it sounds like the band is attempting to mimic the psychedelic rock music of the 1960s.

"Family Vapor" The lengthiest piece on the album is a happy, flighty one, beginning with a bright electric guitar introduction. What follows is more of the band's characteristically frantic oddness- it's almost impossible to stand, much less follow. Over three minutes in, the music stops and something completely different takes over for a while, something dark and quite similar to Van der Graaf Generator. About the nine-minute mark, there's plenty of keyboard craziness to go around. After this, there is no music for a while- instead, there's just strange voices speaking through static. The final three minutes consists of lovely guitar and keyboard playing something pleasing for a change, something almost symphonic- easily the best part of the album.

"Ropeswing" Surprisingly, the final song is something of accessible one, almost a grunge rock track in the vein of Silverchair but throwing in some swing elements in for good measure. The final minute, however, is more of the madness that typifies this mess.

 Sonnenhuhn by FUN MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.95 | 6 ratings

Fun Machine Eclectic Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars New Jersey based band that seem to not take life too seriously, or at least with much humour. This is also evident in their music, but listen carefully to realize how much effort, work and emotion has been put into it.

Crazy to a certain extent, Fun Machine "produces" music which is, well. fun! Diverse in their output, this band plays dynamic and upbeat music, quite uplifting in its mood, filled with intricacies, small quirkiness and with changes as the songs go on. There is a sense of humour in their music, as well as a driving force that keeps the music's fast pace and changes as the tracks move on. In the noisy fast parts I started thinking of The Cardiacs; not to say they have the same sound (though it may serve as a minor reference) but in the spirit of the music, in its intensity. I was also reminded of Make A Rising and their special brand of avant-rock mingled with pop elements and Shining's and The Mars Volta's super intense and noisy music.

Fun Machine's music is accessible and catchy. It sounds familiar and yet new and refreshing. It is well played, cleverly composed and a delight to listen to. It is the little intricacies in the songs that add a special flavour to them, make them even more appealing than their basic ideas. Also, the effective interplay of guitar and keyboards, the effects that each one does, provides a wide range of sounds and evoke many different emotions - from aggressive to nostalgic, from sensual to appeasing to sleepy. The sound is very coherent and tight; the complex parts are meticulously done and are a delight to listen to. They do not, however, only focus on making complex and intricate music, but on beautiful and attractive and memorable melodies. Their music writing is very successful in this sense. This is what caught me from first listen, despite the complexity of the songs and the lengths of some. The magic is achieved by efficiently combining those two attributes in their music.

A highly enjoyable album, refreshing and familiar at the same time (at least to me); Recommended, particularly if you like any of the band's mentioned above and also if you like quirky and hyper active complex rock.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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