Diesel Machine

Torture Test

by Jason Thompson


The Name Fits and I Remain Unsurprised

Well kids, it’s that time of the month where yours truly gets to inform you of the latest and worst from the land of headbanging. Ah yes, it’s Diesel Machine and their aptly-titled album Torture Test. Why? Why do the powers that be laugh in my direction and gleefully toss discs of this nature my way (by that I am not referring to our dear Ms. Zupko but the bands and labels at large)? There’s nothing really to say about albums like these except that they’re horrible.

I don’t want to run down the usual list of comparisons (Korn, et al), because by this point doing so is entirely a waste of time. So I suppose it’s just best to state the facts about this work and act like nothing happened, which in effect is exactly what happened when I listened to this album. Now let’s put this through my own torture test and see what we come up with.

Diesel Machine is an L.A. band who have been smacked with that whole “nü-metal” label that seems to be all the rage anymore. It’s not heavy metal. It’s not thrash metal. It’s not speed metal or anything like that. It’s nu-metal. Basically anytime I see this tag, I try to run as far away as possible. The fact of the matter is that it’s just plain vanilla metal. Feh. Nothing makes it stand out, nothing is remotely memorable. Oh sure, the band is tight, but aren’t all these groups? But what’s the point when all your songs sound the same anyway?

The band itself features A.J. Cavalier on vocals, Pat Lachman on guitar, Rich Gonzales on bass, and Shane Gaalaas on the skins. Basically the band plays that old kind of speed metal that Metallica was once known for before they started whining about their fans “stealing” their songs online and hanging out with orchestras (don’t worry, Lars, your fans weren’t downloading any of your boring new stuff). You know, riffs welded together with the beats, hoarse vocals, and an overabundance of hollow energy that still allows some of the kids to mosh and give their parents the bird. Wow.

Eleven tracks are here. Each are the same in every way. Shall I quote some lyrics? All right. I know you enjoy having a laugh when I write these kinds of albums up, and so do I for that matter. After all, I have to make reading this review worth your while. Let’s first take a gander at track three, the riveting “Dissection”. “You have become the focus of my hate / Blood is what you owe me / Revenge is what I crave / Crushed, you kneel before me / Exposed for what you are / I see right through you now / And everyone will know / Your life must end.” Wow. Another bunch of lyrics dealing with death and punishment. Zzzzzz.

But let’s not forget “Rage” and how it continues to follow along the same lines. “You are the reason I exist / Won’t stop until I get revenge / I will ensure you don’t persist / Cannot forgive, cannot forget / Rage! / Mother fucker, think you’re bad? / I’ll take that smile right off your face.” Uh-huh. There’s that “revenge” idea again, as well as another poseur band using that ridiculously lame “mother fucker.” When will these boys learn?

I refuse to comment any further on a band who cannot even spell “hypocrisy” correctly, let alone rock out. If you’re keeping score so far, you can add Diesel Machine to the same pile of flatulent metal groups such as Flybanger, Dog Fashion Disco, and pete. whom I have covered thusfar in only a few short months. By the way, if you notice this album came out way back in February. Did anyone care then? Does anyone care now?

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media


"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

READ the article