Scars & Wounds
~reviewed by Joel Steudler
Fabulous Finns Machine Men are a quintet of hard rockin' guys making throwback metal with a modern edge. Man, that sounded like the PR gobbledygook I read in press releases. Nevertheless, it is an accurate statement. If you are a-hankerin' for a hunk of 'guitar driven early 90's Americanish hard rock/metal' in the vein of Queensryche (or other contemporary acts), Machine Men will sate your hunger with Scars & Wounds. Speedy riffs, catchy melodies, and a propulsive beat keep the album from sounding like reheated leftovers that are far past their expiration date.
I routinely bash bands who ape a previous era's style... mainly because most of them write dull songs. Dullness is a timeless crime, really, but when you're dull -and- derivative it makes it even worse. Luckily, the Machine Men know how to extract potent musical ideas from past ages and then ably rearrange them into new music that retains the spirit of its source. I'd hesitate to say Scars & Wounds resembles glam metal, but if you took a little late 80's glam, a dash of harder-edged thrash, and a dollop of NWOBHM Brit metal, you could roughly approximate Machine Men's sound. Thankfully, though, the production on 'Scars & Wounds' shares no such affectation of the past. It is modern through and through, with a thick and lush yet crisp sound perfect for the genre.
The Queensryche analogy is further bolstered by the uni-named Antony's Geoff-Tate-ish singing voice. While not displaying quite the silky-smooth crooning that is Tate's hallmark, Antony's voice has a similar timbre and range. It pleasantly evoked memories of a bygone era of music... though thank goodness it was not potent enough to make me remember all the stupid crap that happened to me in high school while I was listening to the bands from which Machine Men derive their sound. Like the time Jim backed his dad's vintage Studebaker into the garage wall before hockey practice and- well, crap. I guess it -was- potent enough after all.
If you pick up Scars & Wounds
expecting innovation or thought provoking, original ideas, you'll be disappointed.
If you pick it up expecting to nostalgically re-live an era you enjoyed
long ago, or just want a good time, your money will have been well spent.
Machine Men have crafted an engaging album that should please people who
liked the rock and metal scenes in the early 90's... along with new fans
who may not have been born or particularly aware of their surroundings
back then. I am now feeling quite old. Time may wait for no
man, but if a man waits around long enough, somene will revive the music
he liked when he was a kid.
Machine Men is:
Machine Men Official Site:
Dynamic Arts Records: