9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Quite simply astounding - an etremely welcome return,
This review is from: Ten Silver Drops (Audio CD)
New York's Secret Machines, after a heavy touring schedule which meant most of 'Ten Silver Drops' was concocted on the road, do not disappoint with this extraordinary album. Taking the same prog elements that infused their promising, if overlong debut, 'Now Here Is Nowhere', and honing them into eight quite superb tracks, the band have released easily the best album of the year so far and one which will be almost impossible to top.
While it is true to some extent that Secret Machines have taken a slightly more pop-oriented approach to their songwriting - single 'Lightning Blue Eyes' is almost catchy - they still average around five minutes each, with monumental centrepiece 'Daddy's In The Doldrums' nearly nine. No track outstays its welcome though. Soaring opener 'Alone, Jealous and Stoned' begins with mournful, tolling piano soon subsumed by pounding drums and powerfully paranoid lyrics. The pair of epics that close the record are spellbinding, particularly the finale '1,000 Seconds', which, whilst sounding scarily like 'Performance and Cocktals' closer 'I Stopped To Fill My Car Up' documents the breakdown of a relationship quite superbly, with little more than piano and drums. 'I Hate Pretending' is the closest the band come to reprising the sound of their debut - enter swooping guitars and driving synth basslines - but the arguable high point is 'All At Once (It's Not Important), a breathtaking tirade against an unknown lover, fillled with tribal drumming, a memorable guitar line and palpable, pulsating angst.
The Pink Floyd/Krautrock comparison are of course valid but Secret Machines are carving their own sound very successfully. They are a force to be reckoned with live and these songs will only cement their gig reputation. A gripping listen, 'Ten Silver Drops' will suit prog dinosaurs and rock enthusiasts old and new - highly recommended.