The first time I listened to this record, I thought it was just okay. Not great, not bad. I would’ve passed on it, but Maddy Tight Pants really loves the Modern Machines, and since I tend to agree with Maddy’s musical tastes most of the time, I figured that I’d give this record another chance. I took it home and, over the past two months, I’ve listened to it dozens of times. After all of these repeated listens, the songs started to separate in my head. I could better recognize the subtleties of the parts. I could pick out parts where the Replacements influence crept in. “Run It” has some nice echoes of the Big Boys. The heavy Hüsker Dü influence is just about everywhere, and that’s not a bad thing. I could hear where they were trying to branch out in different directions. And, in the end, I’ve decided that this album is great. And it’s bad. And it’s just okay. By that, I mean that four or five songs off of this album would make a great EP. Alternately, a few of these songs should’ve stayed in the practice room a bit longer before they were recorded. And the record is just okay when they have a song like “Radio Tower” which is going along great, then does a quick tempo change and launches into a part where the singer says he’s gonna fly, and I stop paying attention. I think that the Modern Machines have a good starting point. I think they’ll get better. For the time being, though, I’d rather listen to The Crowd song they’re named after than listen to this record.
–sean (Onion Flavored)