Secret Machines - Now Here is Nowhere

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:
Now Here Is Nowhere comes a full three years after Secret Machines first made waves in the music scene with their mini-LP September 000, and the progression they've made in that time is enormous. On this, their full-length debut, this three-piece (brothers Brandon and Benjamin Curtis and drummer Josh Garza) work to an epic scale--album opener "First Wave Intact" is a full nine-minute psychedelic prog wig-out--conveying a sense of space that could only come from America. It's this expansiveness that defines their sound, placing them comfortably alongside bands like the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev.

"Nowhere Again" has a driving rhythm that propels the song with a frantic energy, while guitar feedback squalls loop behind Brandon Curtis's cracked, Neil Young-esque vocals, the whole thing building towards a crescendo that's ready made for an outdoor festival. It's a highlight, sure, but Now Here Is Nowhere is an album full of them: from the singalong chorus of "The Road Leads Where It's Led" to the keyboard and drum-led "Sad and Lonely". Occasionally, as on "The Leaves Are Gone", they get too blissed-out, so that the song ends before anything has actually happened, while "You Are Chains" takes a full three minutes to get started. Generally, though, Now Here Is Nowhere hits the mark. And you can't help but admire a band confident enough to include a reprise at the end of their album. --Robert Burrow

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