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The Machines

After My Misspent Youth

(Fading Ways; US: 2006; UK: Unavailable)

The Machines are a tight rock group from Kitchener, Ontario—one that has no problem dishing out catchy rock gems like the garage-y “What Have I Done”, which comes complete with sweet harmonies and an ample supply of hooks. And nothing much changes throughout the album, whether it is the surefire rock of “This Town”, which has been done thousands of times before, or the fun and summery “Time” that screams to be a rock radio single. The band seems to excel on these ditties, not really challenging the listener, but giving them plenty to grin about. The Machines also rarely mail in performances, especially when the tender, slower, and memorable “My Girlfriend Says” comes on. However, they put the album on its head with a country-meets-rockabilly surprise called “I’d Like to Thank You All”. There is not a lot here to choose from musically, as they simply hone their chops with each song, although “Snatching Defeat (From the Jaws of Victory)” seems to have the band losing the plot slightly. Perhaps the truly great song of the baker’s dozen is “Three Chord Monty”, which seems to bounce along perfectly a la the Jam or the Kinks.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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