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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 September 2004
Secret Machines live is an amazing experience. You get taken in to the music and lose yourself completely, not finding yourself again until the very last chord has rung out. This album is just the same. From the opening track, First Wave Down, you get sucked in and completely lost. The compositions on 'Now Here is Nowhere' are spectacular, every song has a great feeling of depth, like you're totally immersed in it.
A lot of people have compared this band to the Flaming Lips, and certainly, on track 3, Leaves Are Gone, you can hear their influence. But Secret Machines is a totally different beast. Brandon Curtis's vocals are much more refined, and the different layers which make up the songs seem to hold together much better.
For me 'Now Here is Nowhere' works best as a whole, listened to from start to finish. There are no stand-out tracks, it's just a stand-out album.
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on 16 June 2004
I was impressed by The Secret Machines mini-lp September 00 last year which showed promise and great inventiveness so when I saw that you could download their debut full length album from their website a couple of months ago I jumped at the chance. What a great decision that was, I honestly haven't stopped listening to it since. Their influences are pretty clear NEU!/Krautrock rhythms mixed with a My Bloody Valentine sonic attitude on an often epic scale. The progressive leap from the last record is impressive and I would strongly recommend getting this before everyone else catches on.
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on 10 July 2004
I got this album after hearing "Sad and Lonely" on Xfm. I loved the single but the album is incredible- nine epic waves of pure pshycadelica rock washing through you.
The songs range from spectacular to achingly lovely.
The vocals are beautiful when the singer drifts to the high notes in the choruses, the lyrics are intracately crafted and everything is driven by unstoppable drums.
The music demands to be listened to- some of the finest moments come when your deep into the longest tracks.
There's no point trying to keep them secret, these guys are going to be huge. Enjoy.
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on 4 December 2004
Amazing. When I first bought this album, I would have given it about 3 or 4 stars. Yet I found it really grew on me, and I was singing some of the songs without even realising it. It is an album that on first listen is good (but doesn't stand out), but about third or fourth listen in you should love it, as I do.
'First Wave Intact' is a nine minute space rock (almost) singalong epic.
'Sad and Lonely' combines good singing with great tunes, and results in a brilliant song.
'Leaves are gone' is probably the worst on the album (still great though). It works best if you listen to the album as a whole.
'Nowhere again' is driven by a fantastic tune and juxtaposes well with the chilled 'leaves are gone'.
'Road leads where it's lead' has a great chorus and highlights how great the secret machines actually are.
'Pharaoh's Daughter' is excellent Pink floyd style space rock.
'You are Chains' is piano driven, and slowly builds until it becomes something amazing.
'Light's On' is the most commercial song on the album, yet still bears the distinct mark of the secret machines, and as a result is beyond excellent.
'Now here is Nowhere' can be summed up in two words: Epic, fantastic.
In other words, buy this album. It is impossible to pick highlights from it, as all the songs are just so good. Support the secret machines. Buy this fantastic record.
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on 9 July 2004
I'm only really writing this review is because I am so gobsmacked over the previous reviewer's negative comments on this album. This is one of the best albums I've heard of all year. While there is nothing desperatley new here, this is an epic sounding album with excellent tunes, yes excellent tunes "Matt from London", and beats straight from John Bonham's grave.
The reason I love this album so much IS the so called "Rod, Jane and Freddie" melodies sprinkled through out, something which fans of Grandaddy will adore. But these guys are way more searing in the execution of their clever chord progressions than the boys from Modesto, CA.
I will concede the lyrics are a little self-absorbed and in some cases non-sensical but they sure as hell beat rhyming "walk" with "talk" and slavering on about "living your life".
If you fancy hearing what the Alt. Country boys would sound like if they all woke up drunk in the early seventies then buy this album now, you will not be disappointed.
The bottom line is these guys really "rock".
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on 11 January 2005
My first ever review for Amazon....this album is that good.
A shot-gun critique of the best album of last year by a mile.
Muse meet Mecury Rev and give birth to a mutant punk floyd.
A 'Dark Side Of The Moon' for the 21st century.
Pink Floyds classic, Joy Divisions 'Unknown Pleasures' and 'Now Here Is Nowhere' three seminal albums that you can play anytime, day or night and lose yourself in the music. Otherworldly vocals over booming bass, delicate piano riffs and drums that roll like thunder.
To be played loud or not at all.
This album will sound as fresh in thirty years as the very first time you heard it.
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on 10 November 2004
Secret Machines are an American band who have produced a debut album with a distinctly European feel. Compared to artists as diverse as Flaming Lips and Pink Floyd, there is little on this album that is particularly novel, but nevertheless they have produced something very interesting indeed.
The album kicks off with 'First Wave Intact', a song that is reminiscent of Radiohead's 'Air Bag'. Driven by Josh Garza's relentless percussion, this is a fine, epic opener, ending with a sonic blitzkrieg (why is it that trios seem to make more noise than bands with more members?). It pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album, although there are a few slower tracks to allow pause for breath. Closing with the title track, the album finishes as it began, although the intro to this track features multi-layered vocals before the massive crescendo pf the finale.
Overall, this may well prove to be one of my favourite albums of this year. I look forward to more Secret Machine albums with relish.
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on 9 August 2004
This CD is a masterpiece of progressive music, with well constructed songs and superb musicianship. At times it sounds like a modern Led Zeppelin, at others almost Pink Floyd-esqe. There is not a bad track on the recording, and I would highly recommend it if you like real music played by real musicians. Turn off the drum machines and listen to this.
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on 31 December 2004
This record never seems to end. That is its beauty. You listen to it several times and it will stick in your head, but will never annoy you.
Each song blends into the next, so that these aren't so much songs as one big whole that is edited.
Quite simply the best use of electronic music with rock influenced guitar you will hear this year!
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VINE VOICEon 9 July 2006
Psychedelia is ill-served in the modern age. Oasis' spiralling conclusion to 'Rock 'n' Roll Star' and the Coral both make their cases for psychedelia, but other than that there isn't a great deal of music of note in that vein. Secret Machines change that.

Opener 'First Wave Intact' isn't exactly putting the band's best foot forward. A nine minute song of little value (despite being a fan favourite, so anyone else may well like it too) it opens the album by taking its entire length to reach a crescendo that never comes.

However, from then on things get much, much better. Single 'Sad And Lonely' has a constant, stomping beat that doesn't let up; it just keeps going, and it's fantastic. The tandem title tracks, 'Nowhere Again' and 'Now Here Is Nowhere' (tracks three and nine respectively) with their overlapping melodies and theme compliment each other perfectly, while 'The Road Leads Where It's Led' boasted one of the most bemusing lyrics of 2004.

This album is a wonderful throwback to the 70s, when songs were long, albums didn't have many tracks, and Pink Floyd were the biggest band on the planet. What a fine time to revisit with this great record.
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