Review of Ten Silver Drops Album by Secret Machines

Secret Machines
Ten Silver Drops
679 Recordings
27th March

Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops Album

Some rousing live shows in support of 'Now Here is Nowhere' proved that Secret Machines were adept at tearing smaller venues with a repertoire of some pretty hefty sonic rock numbers. A new year and a new album in the form of the roaring 'Ten Silver Drops' sees them stream line their 'prog' tag and return with invigorated intent.

Where they once toyed on 'Now Here is Nowhere' to indulgent effect, 'Ten Silver Drops' sees Secret Machines adopt a clinical resolve. Well clinical in the sense the majority of the songs dip in at under the five minute mark as opposed to the ten. Josh Garza's powerfully prompt drumming, stamps the band forward with unwavering authority, allowing the sprawling guitar and wandering keyboard of brothers Curtis to transport you to some grand new frontiers. Brandon Curtis candy coated vocals have a new purpose and clarity and despite lyrics drawn from isolation and disillusionment, they're belted out with inspiring conviction. 'Alone, Jealous and Stoned' is a track so effortlessly huge and sleek it may yet give stadium shows a good name along with the glorious Spiritualized esque lament of 'Lightning Blue Eyes' and the pulsing 'Faded Lines' - perhaps the best example of Secret Machines taking the direct route.

That's not to say they've abandoned the psychedelic tendencies that made their debut such a mainstay. Checking back for some consummately lethargic numbers in the form of the menacingly ponderous 'Daddy's in the Doldrums' and the twin close out of 'I want to know' and '1,000 seconds' that cast a downbeat melancholy to the finale. It seems that they've discovered the potency of economics and where the music used to wander aimlessly at times, now it spirals before crashing down with premeditated accuracy. The step up in venue size might not be enough and if Wembley beckons, they've got plenty of time yet.

Sherief Younis

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