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Awesome Machine Under The Influences

By Max Lamkin, Contributor
Thursday, February 14, 2002 @ 1:17 PM


(I Used To Fuck People Like Yo

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If I only said one thing about Awesome Machine’s Under The Influence, it would be, awesome. But an album of this nature deserves an elaboration as to why it’s awesome. First of all, it meets every criteria that a hard rock album should. Most importantly it kicks ass. It’s hard, it’s dark, and in some places it’s, dare I say, introspective. You can drink beer to it, you can bang your significant other to it, or you can just sit and ponder far off lands. It all depends on where you are and what your mood is.

The overall sound of the album is fat. Drums, bass and guitar all working together and off of each other in a symbiotic haze of musicianship. The important thing here is that nothing overpowers anything else which just electrifies the piece as a whole. This enables the true cornerstone of the sound to shine through, the wailing vocals of Lasse Olausson. The album challenges you to pick apart the subtle layers if you choose to do more than just sit back and enjoy. With a fairly obvious formula at work here, Under the Influences exploits what we all know rock and roll to be, but does it in the most credible fashion. It’s nothing new, there is no ground being broken here, it’s just straight forward rock and roll. For me, that sort of unpretentious attitude projected from the band just increases their merit.

It could be argued that each song sounds relatively the same as far as the arrangements and sound goes, but one theme cannot be denied is RHYTHM and these guys have lots of it. I found myself banging my head without even realizing it. This music gets under you skin. And just when I thought they’d pushed it as far as they could, the unconventional sound (at least in rock) of a slide or a saxophone would show up. This album keeps you on your toes.

During the haunting track “Emotion Water,” I envisioned a tortured soldier walking alone through an apocalyptic battlefield. It was beautiful, poetic, and troubling. The music really holds you in. I wasn’t thinking about my checkbook, I wasn’t thinking about whether or not I should get my car tuned up. I was thinking about the music and how I wanted to spread the word of triumph known only as Awesome Machine. It’s easy to see that to see guys are all on the same page. The fact that the band produced the album themselves further confirms my belief that they care about their craft, the direction they want to go and their longevity. The bi-product of that drive is a zero maintenance album. You just press play.

*****


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