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Crushed: My Machine

Genre: Rock/Metal
Label: No Relief Records

The members of Crushed brought in some major metal muscle with producer Mike Clink (Guns 'N' Roses, Metallica, Megadeth, Motley Crue) and mixer Fred Archibald (Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones). My Machine has classic metal consoles, reminiscent of Alice Cooper, and contemporary sonic enhancements akin to KoRn. But what gives the tracks their own luster are the tribal-like rhythms and symphonic guitar vibrations, intensified by keyboard swells.

The band creates a myriad of guitar surges with the talents of Mark Lauer, Mike Halland and Harry McCaleb entangling their lines. Lauer also handles lead vocals and McCaleb works the keyboards to beef up the spearing vibrations. The rhythm section (bassist Mike Brown and drummer Jeff Garten) rivet notches along the chord movements, impaling them with thick, rhythmic pulses. The result is an album with magnitude and muscle.

The plump guitar licks on "What Kind Of A Life" have an eerie echo while taking on a mutinous clamor on "Hovering." They create a tirade effect, through which the lead vocals pierce ... driving the momentum of the chord changes. The plumage of guitar vibrations and orchestral overtones on tracks like "Ether" and "Unbroken" arcade a flair for prog-rock deluges. The riveting rhythmic motions give the tracks a dance-rock beat while the chord changes rise and ebb among the frothy pummels.

The lyrical phrases use symbolism and metaphors to represent life like the song "Crash Coping" when Lauer muses, "Crashing sunlight escapes/ The harvest of souls is saved/ Betrayed confidence too late/ A promise made..." They're like a series of incantations, having an underlying meaning about life, making impressions about people and the world and all the ways in which we're all dysfunctional.

"Dwell" is a highlight on the album with melodic guitar riffs entwining the mid-tempo rhythmic motions. The glazed tones have a Nickelback sensitivity and boost Lauer's vocal melody. Lauer's vocal keys remind me so much of Alice Cooper on "Further Down." It's in the way he molds the lyrics into the melodic folds. Also similar to Cooper are the dance-rock beats on tracks like "March" and "Deeper." The gravelly guitar tones give the songs a seedy feel, which can also be relatable to Cooper. The guitar and keyboard dynamics orb the vocals and strengthen the vocal rises. The crunching guitar shreds on "Nocturnal" are clawing but the band eases up on their churlish mechanics by ending the album with a series of tribal dance-rock rhythms on "Bell Hooks," erecting a whirlwind effect as the the album manages to maintain a hard rock consistency, bulked with riveting rhythmic beats and spearing chord surges.

Centered in Phoenix, Arizona, Crushed put together an album that gives metal music pride. It's melodic without compromising the roar of their serried guitar surges. The music has orchestral height without sacrificing its metal crunch and they have tribal rhythms that enhance the chord progressions without convoluting them. My Machine has traits of classic metal and modern prog-rock. The band pilots the movements so they are tightly seamed giving the songs muscle and magnitude and a little of Alice Cooper's seedy textures to steam up the mix. The ambitious mix on their debut album bridges generations of rock and offers something for a wide range of fans.

Added: April 9th 2007
Reviewer: Susan Frances
Score:
Related Link: Visit Crushed Online
Hits: 2831
Language: english

  

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