Paul Jarvis: Bass
Mike McNeil: Drums
Jay Fortin: Guitar
David Nebbia: Vocals
Recorded and Produced by Benny Grotto and SUPERMACHINE at Mad Oak - Allston, MA.
Assistant Engineer Young Thayer.
Mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios - Allston, MA.
Mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs - Ann Arbor, MI.
Album Artwork and Design by Alexander von Wieding, www.zeichentier.com.
Executive Producer: Scott Hamilton.
Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP).
All songs written by SUPERMACHINE.
There is plenty enough to recommend this eponymously-titled album.
Hailing from Southern New Hampshire, Supermachine were formed by founding members of Scissorfight – bass player Paul Jarvis and guitarist Jay Fortin. Sometimes it's hard to dissect the sound of the band and give comparison, but this may just be where Supermachine's strength lies.
The first noticeable quality is the monstrous instrumentation on the track 'Solitude', with singer Dave Nebbia bellowing out some demanding lyrics. It's hard to believe that they found this singer through some emails regarding the selling of some leather cuffs! 'Broken' is a good representation of the style that this album tends to follow, with hard-hitting guitars and unforgiving vocals. You can picture the low slung guitars and the beer cans sat on the amps, as this band smash out song after song in a live environment. If you are looking for attitude, 'Transformer' has both pronounced lyrics and focused metal bites of guitar.
'Josey Wales' shows that the band are not afraid to tell a story with the vocals, at times, reminding me of Layne Staley, and the more blues rock approach stretches out beyond. 'MT' is a slow creeping riff with an effective stalking vocal, and turns out to be one of the golden nuggets on offer here. No frills, old school blues drenched rock is the name of the game with 'Buffalo', whilst 'Pill Cruise' is plain head banging fuel, with little substance, but bags of attitude.
If there is a negative to offer, then it would be the predictable pace of so many of the songs, at times, never really getting out of first gear. That said there is plenty enough to recommend this eponymously-titled album.
- Ray Paul
Speed serves Jay Fortin well on Supermachine’s self-titled debut album, an 11-song blend of metal and hard rock that blisters and detonates from track to track. Fortin, along with bassist Paul Jarvis, were founding members for the influential metal act Scissorfight. Vocalist David Nebbia is the perfect fit for the group. His style complements the execution of Fortin’s guitar and the driving rhythm section of Jarvis and drummer Mike “Mick” McNeil. The album is a fun, rocky bombast that winds up on the opener, “Solution” and doesn’t relent, only taking pause, briefly, on tracks “Flesh Farm” and “Josey Wales” before regaining itself and stampeding onward. There are nods to country and blues throughout the album that show the band is more than a metal group with horse-blinders. They’re disciples of metal, yes, but with a wandering eye for pure rock-n-roll.
“Pill Cruise” sounds like the introduction to a riot that features Fortin’s fast-paced finger-tapping technique but lets the engines idle during the song’s verse and chorus. The song could’ve erupted like “Transformer” or “Broken,” but instead shows that the group can keep your attention while cooling down. There are solos here and there, but nothing that is a lengthy detraction from the entirety of the album. Fortin is given free reign on the track “Crutch,” taking the time to really work the neck of his guitar into a frenzy of rabid notes that make the track stand out.
It’s clear that the members of Supermachine understand their genre. They don’t fuss too much with technique and instead offer a straightforward approach to their hard rock sound. That’s not to say the songs are bland, or basic, in any way. In fact it’s sort of refreshing to listen to something that doesn’t try to trick the listener into appreciating the band. For fans of the genre, “Supermachine” offers a solid collection of fast-paced songs that can be appreciated for their simplicity. For the newcomer to the genre, the album is a perfect introduction.
- Craig Robert Brown
You can always depend on the heaviest and the loudest record company in the world to perpetually skew you on the right track when it comes to serving up a primo paint-peeling, gasoline-siphoned, lease-breaking rock ’n’ roll brew that’s guaranteed to do you through—which brings me to Supermachine’s self-titled sonic sludgefest.
Rabidly reeking with ripe riffs that’ll waft right up your wazoo, you can bet your bottom daughter that this quim-quivering quartet has got what it takes to snatch the cooze carpet out from under you with such snorting thud puds as “Flesh Farm” and “Pill Cruise” and the bone-pulverizing “Crutch” which is about as close to a Brutal Planet outtake as you’re likely to hear without having your ears slawed off.
Oh, and don’t worry about not being able to find a copy the next time you’re in a record store ’cause it’ll be filed under: Unstoppable Momentum.
The name Supermachine brings to mind one of those titanic earth-movers that's the size of a tower block and can clear a lake basin before teatime, and the band aren't too far from that either. This is parking-lot rock with the amps cranked up, a stream of blues grooves and hot licks driven home with intensity and gusto. Like the '70's best, vocalist David Nebbia has an impressive range, hammering out hooks, like a veteran, while the understated guitar work has a dense, throat grabbing quality that gives them the edge over the current crop of watery hard-rockers. Good on first listen and even better with each subsequent play, this is as ballsy an album as any self-respecting rocker could desire.
- David Bowes
After listening to Supermachine you become painfully aware of what is wrong with American radio. Here is a band that should be getting Heavy rotation and filling arenas. All the songs served up on their self-titled debut release are great and they give you a shot of adrenaline. Hailing from Southern New Hampshire Supermachine is, David Nebbia on vocals, Jay Fortin on guitar, Paul Jarvis on bass and Mike McNeil on drums. The first thing that struck me about this release is the fantastic groove throughout that never at any point becomes tiresome. There are plenty of straight up hard rock songs, such as the energetic "Solution", which acts as a perfect kick-start.
The next two tracks, "Broken"and "Transformer" are once again straight forward in approach but executed with such energy and power. Then you a track like, "Buffalo" that is extremely catchy, and the commanding vocal delivery from David Nebbia on "Pill Cruise" is sure to get your adrenaline going. Too many times bands of this genre simply re-hash repetitive riffing, but Jay Fortin's guitar work on this recording is spot on. Sumptuous time changes and riff chopping/changing that simply floors you as a listener, making you guess the next direction they will take makes this a display of refined and ultimately skilful playing. Supermachine's debut outing has all the elements to be considered a classic album in the field of the so called "Stoner Rock", and I believe Supermachine have enough potential to become the leaders in the genre, PERIOD. - Highly Recommended
- Tony aka The Atomic Chaser
Built like a Sherman tank, here come Supermachine with some heavy, groove-laden rock!
It’s a commonly held theory that the ’70s was the decade when rock peaked. That’s a contentious point of view though as rock music from the ’90s is currently getting a re-appraisal as well as a make-over from a number of groove metal acts.
One such band is New Hampshire’s Supermachine. Much like their label-mates Gozu, Deville and Sun Gods In Exile, they make rock that has a foot in both decades. Rock music that’s heavy but not at the expense of melody or soul. It has a nod towards the alt-rock of bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, as well as the god-like Metallica. Big sludgey riffs that are not frightened of leaving a little space, back up by a ballsy, solid rhythm section.
Though this is their debut album, the band have history, several members having played together in a string of bands, most notably Scissorfight and Hemicuda. The addition of newcomer David Nebbia on vocals completes the latest formation. It’s a line-up with chemistry and feel. Take a listen to “Broken”, hard-hitting in the heavy section yet almost as funky and tight as James Brown in the breakdown section.
Other highlights include “MT” with its Cobain-esque chorus, (further evidence of the timelessness of ’90s rock), “Heavy Bullet” where the band show its bluesy side, and the chunky riffing on “Crutch”. The band dynamic is evident throughout, the three musicians combining to make a sound that’s bigger than the sum of it’s parts. The bass in particular works overtime in giving them a groove. Newcomer Nebbia ably holds up on vocals, his melodies as inventive as as the backing. A solid effort.
- Rating 8/10
- Duncan Fletcher
It has arrived! The self-titled debut full length from Seacoast rockers, Supermachine...; Eleven tunes that pack enough musical TNT into every track that you're kept on your toes, guessing when the roof under which your listening is going to blow skyward. You know it's imminent, and you welcome the moment — fist raised in similar fashion — in the air.
I know Supermachine is its own, glorious entity, but I have to mention it...; It is so unbelievably satisfying to know that Scissorfight alums Jay Fortin and Paul Jarvis are back out on the circuit, wreaking havoc on eardrums, and generally just causing an aesthetically pleasing hard rock ruckus. For real.
Fortin's guitar playing is the stuff of legend. It's quite hard to craft a sound within the metal genre that separates you from all the other shredders crafting noise. Heck, it's hard in any genre, but Fortin has it. You can recognize that style and tone anywhere...; immediately — without hesitation. I'd put him toe to toe with any of the best riff rockers on the planet, and bet he'd be able to stay standing in the ring. His playing on this Supermachine record picks up where he left off in Scissorfight. It's swirling metallic mayhem with a touch of honky-tonk twang (just a touch...;). It's the sound of a blizzard, the sound of a buzzard, the sound of a bastard. It's so good.
And then you have Mr. Jarvis, and the animal, Mike McNeil, holding down a stout rhythm section capable of rattling any standing structure off of its foundation. It's a wonder the McNeil's garage is still standing - the home of many Supermachine kindled dreams and consequent rehearsals.
Bring in frontman Dave Nebbia, and you've taken the "Scissorfight sound" and transported (and supplanted) it back into the 90s. You're hard-pressed to not pick up on some grunge era influence on this record. If this band existed back then, who knows what books we'd be reading about them, or what documentaries they'd be included in. That's not to say that this record won't get them to grand places. I for one, hope it does. And I tend to think it will.
Grab a copy (it'll be available in CD form come May 10 when they rock the Dover Brickhouse). Dust off the stereo, get it tuned up, buy a new one...; whatever you have to do. This is the album your speakers have been longing for. This is the music that will bring that air-guitar of yours back into the picture. It'll happen. Mark my word. And it feels great.
- Christopher Hislop
Incognito pick of the week: Supermachine
OK, so recently I’ve featured a lot of heavy rock bands as the pick of the week. What can I say? There have been a lot of good heavy rock releases recently. Supermachine is another Small Stone artist that is bringing real (and real loud) rock and roll back to the people. You can admit it. You’ve missed music that makes you want to don your old sleeveless t-shirt and ripped jeans. Well, you don’t have to miss it anymore.
My first impression of Supermachine is that it has a bit of the Seattle sound in it. Specifically, the vocals bring Soundgarden and Alice in Chains to mind. But I’m here to tell you that I think Supermachine rocks harder than either of those bands. If somehow your attention is not grabbed in either of the first two songs (you might want to check for a pulse if that’s the case), then just listen to the intro of “Transformer.” It starts with some fuzzy guitar and rapid-fire drums, then it explodes into a swirl of (for lack of a better term) pure rock fury. Seriously, when you hear this song you’ll wonder why guys would rather sing mellow songs about their feelings than something that rocks like this does.
If you like loud guitar solos (is there another kind?), then “Josey Wales is the song for you. If this song doesn’t get you pumping your fist or playing air guitar (or both), I don’t think any song will.
If you like your music loud and fast, Supermachine is a band you should get to know. The band’s self-titled album will be available from Small Stone on 14 May. Do yourself a favor and get this album so you can blast it to all the people in your neighborhood can remember what RAWK sounds like.
- Gary Schwind
This is the self-titled album from New Hampshire based SUPERMACHINE. And with such a name I expected a huge heavy monster. But it has nothing to do with such Groove monsters like Deville or Dozer. Their sound has some comparison to bands like Metallica (Load-ear), Alice in Chains (vocals sometimes) or Warrior Soul. Some members played before in SCISSORFIGHT (bass and guitar) and have now a new monster band. The CD start with a great SOLUTION, a huge opener with some Classic Rock, Soundgarden and Hard Rock influences. Good vocals and a rolling guitar riff. BROKEN follows with another impressive statement between heavy riffing mixed with some ALICE IN CHAINS vibe. Highlight is PILL CRUISE with catchy vocals and a cool melodic vs heavy part. HEAVY BULLET is more Blues Rock and ELITE is a real hit too. WARLORD close that impressive debut with a riff monster. The music is full of dynamic and groove. Power and heaviness. But swith the right hand for melodic and good melodies. A lot of potential in that band and with the right support they can grow! It sounds fresh, groovy and interesting. This is a sound which can get a huge following. And should be one of the leading bands on the Small Stone label in the future!
Genre: Heavy Rock
Info: 11 songs
Often when writing reviews, I am faced with the task of dissecting a bands sound, breaking it down to find comparisons to other bands. By doing that, you can describe to the listeners other artists that they resemble in sound and style. On occasion, you hit upon a band that sounds remarkably like one of your all-time favourite bands without them having anything at all in common with that said band. SUPERMACHINE is one of those bands.
While listening to the self titled album from this New Hampshire based band, I was struck by how much they reminded me of the band SPREAD EAGLE and WARRIOR SOUL. What also became apparent was that this was not a case of one band trying to emulate another. It's ironic because I'm sure that SUPERMACHINE has probably never heard of either of the aforementioned bands due to their seminal status during the mid-90s Hard Rock hey days.
The album kicks off with the ultra-groovy tune, "Solution". It has a huge bass and drum groove with some killer vocals from David Nebbia. He has that same kind of gritty, huge range that Ray West from SPREAD EAGLE is known for. It's a great start to the CD and lets you know that the band is here to rock. "Broken" continues the affair with a crunchy guitar and vocal combination that is slightly reminiscent of early ALICE IN CHAINS mixed with a touch of AEROSMITH.
On the track "MT", once again you're reminded of ALICE IN CHAINS but in a much more melodic and groovy way. This is a fantastic band with some real muscle in the tunes. The rhythm section sounds massive and really drives this whole CD. The song, "Buffalo" starts with some tasty blues inspired guitar before the tune kicks into full gear and just rocks your face off. The band continues to rock with reckless abandon on the song, "Pill Cruise", which features some monster guitar from Jay Fortin.
SUPERMACHINE is exactly as the name describes. This is a band of extremely talented guys playing a style of hard rock and groove metal that will have you moving in your chair. The songs are catchy as hell while still maintaining the huge groove they are built around.
I would highly recommend this to anyone that like a good, heavy, groove laden rock affair. I hope to hear lots more from these guys.
- 9 out of 10 (Almost Perfect)
Hailing from the rock and roll super-hub of Portsmouth, New Hampshire (okay, maybe not), Supermachine plays a no-nonsense style of heavy rock n roll. Taking a page from Small Stone Records label mates Deville, Dixie Witch, Sun Gods in Exile, to name a few, Supermachine steps back into the 90s for inspiration. Black Crowes, whiffs of grunge and even heavier bands like Load-era Metallica are all detectable within the grooves of this record.
It’s pretty much a safe assumption these days that anything released by Small Stone Records contains twice the daily recommended dose of hard rockin’ melody and Supermachine’s recipe proves no exception. Largely absent here is the fuzz tone so synonymous with the label, the bulk of the ‘slack’ is picked up by the wah, which gets a good workout slangin’ funk grooves.
The band labels their particular brand of music as “ginormous rock”. Opening track “Solution” is as “ginormous” as the band claims with plenty of dropped out moments and open spaces carried by the vocal talents of David Nebbia and drumming of Mike McNeill. The momentum the band picks up when the guitars slam back in is enough to take the head clean off the listener’s shoulders.
As the disc spins on, the band constantly explores different worlds of melody. “MT” takes counterpoint to a whole new level and makes for a strong cut. “Josey Wales” sees the band get in touch with their inner Black Crowes, as touched on above, laying out some southwestern blues licks as a change of pace. The very next track “Flesh Farm” has an Alice in Chains thing going on and it’s at this point, about half way through that things begin to fall into place and make sense. Stoner rock is not really the best label to put on this thing, even though that may be what you’re expecting from the label. This is a classic hard rock record with strutting, slinking riffs and drumming that does more with less. Overall the 11 tracks on this disc is like a tour of different sounds from the nineties, updated and doubled in weight.
The band manages to step up to the plate and crush it towards the end of the disc with “Pill Cruise”, “Crutch” and “Heavy Bullet” in succession. This is the moment when everything the band has been building up to comes together in blistering fashion. Mammoth grooves, crushing riffs, catchy choruses and melodies are all on display here. With all the stops the band takes along the way, by the end of the album you realize what a wild ride it’s been.
Unfortunately nothing else on this record quite matches the monumental power of the opening salvo, “Solution”, but there’s more than enough hard rockin’ material here to get you a few speeding tickets by the end of the disc.
- Lucas Klaukien
Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room straight away. Scissorfight. There I said it. I’m sure messers Paul Jarvis and Jay Fortin, bass and guitars respectively for Supermachine, won’t appreciate my bringing up their former group here as they no doubt wish to forge a new identity with their current outfit, but the fact remains the Scissorfight shadow will loom large over this release. Scissorfight were a force to be reckoned with. Their blend of blues, punk and metal was visceral and unsettling yet eminently catchy and vocalist Iron was a formidable and commanding presence physically, lyrically and vocally. Hell, the guy was plain scary. Scissorfight held sway, they had influence…you did not fuck with Scissorfight!!! With that in mind expectation around this album will naturally be high; the pressure to deliver is most certainly on. Unfortunately delivery falls slightly short.
Firstly, this is a fantastic sounding record. Fortin’s guitar has rarely sounded thicker or more tuneful and his playing remains at the forefront of this release…I’ve always been a big fan of this guy’s playing and it is good to hear him back in the saddle. His lead playing remains fluid and exciting and can still throw out a great riff and groove. Elsewhere Jarvis’s bass and the drums of Mike McNeil lay down a weighty, grinding rhythm section that, sonically at least, puts this album right up there with the best of them. The issue here, for me, at least is twofold. Firstly let’s look at the material. Whereas Scissorfight forged a sound that was as menacing and twisted as it was catchy it seems as though Supermachine are aiming for mass appeal acceptance with an overall sound that owes more to the likes of Alice In Chains with it’s big arena rock shapes. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the material, the choruses are big and largely memorable, the songs are well structured with ample light and shade and occasionally on tracks such as the southern tinged “Josey Wales” they show a fine bluesy swagger and potential brilliance. The songs are certainly heavy as well, of that there is no doubt. The issue seems to be one of soul, it doesn’t always feel as if they’re throwing their full heart into the songs and writing in a style that doesn’t necessarily suit or fulfil them. Also, throughout the course of these eleven tracks there is little in the way of variety of pace. Each track rides along on a mid paced groove which by the halfway mark does start to wear a little thin and doesn’t help any of the songs to stand out particularly.
The second issue lies at the feet of vocalist David Nebbia. The guy has a decent melodic voice with suitable power but has little in the way to distinguish him and stamp his mark on the material. Vocally he comes across as a combination of Layne Staley and Alabama Thunderpussy’s Johnny Throckmorton but lacking the former’s deep seated emotional gravitas and the sheer wild abandon and hooch fuelled menace of the latter. I certainly wasn’t looking for Iron Lung mark two here but I would have hoped for someone with a comparable level of personality and guts but here it just feels like there’s a voice to make the appropriate noises in the right places with mostly anodyne lyrics that offer nothing in the way of insight, humour…or, well anything to be honest. This may sound a little harsh as the guy as a good vocalist…but sometimes good isn’t enough when you want great.
Would I feel as disappointed by this album if I hadn’t been such a big fan of Scissorfight? Probably not as the weight of expectation, anticipation and excitement I felt approaching this album would not have been as great. The next question is, had I never heard Scissorfight would this album seem better? Probably not, as an album in its own right without the history of some of its members, it’s still only a decent enough album and not a great one. It has its moments but displays little that makes it stand out. It’s an enjoyable enough listen for what it is but not one that beckons you in for repeated plays. Lastly, is it unfair of me to be drawing so many comparisons to Scissorfight and to be going on about them so much? Quite possibly, after all Supermachine only comprise 50% of Scissorfight members, the other 50% having their own musical histories and their own input into the overall output. However, when a band does feature former members of a high profile band, and members who played a big part in the overall sound and writing within a high profile band, it is impossible to erase that history and not bring it forward into new projects. The fact is, Supermachine are gathering attention and interest because of their past associations and history, would they even be getting a look in were it not for this? Have a listen to this album and answer that question for yourselves.
I hate being negative about any album, particularly an album on Small Stone, a label I love and cherish, but with the sheer level of their output it was inevitable that something would come along that didn’t really tick my boxes…it’s the law of averages. But hey, I’m only one man with an opinion, the next guy may love this album…it may save his life and that, my friends, would render my opinion worthless.
- Ollie Stygall
From the ashes of one kick ass rock band comes another, the long anticipated debut of Supermachine, whose members comprise much of what was once Scissorfight and is now one of the newest incarnations in an ever growing stable of ridiculously awesome rock music from Small Stone Records.
Hailing from New Hampshire, Scissorfight founding members Paul Jarvis and Jay Fortin team up with Mike McNeill, an old friend from the band Hemicuda, a Scissorfight precursor, to make the beginnings of Supermachine. With Jarvis on bass, Fortin on guitar, and McNeill on drums, all that was needed was the frontman, and through an unusual twist of fate involving emails and leather cuffs Dave Nebbia brings his defining rock vocals to the mix in a fashion that matches the band's music to a tee.
"Supermachine" is one of those albums you instantly like because, well, because it's good, and it's instantly, obviously good. It's also one of those albums that when you listen to it again, and then again, and having listened to it dozens of times over the course of several days, you begin to realize it's better than good, it's better than melt the face flesh off your lily white skull, it is chock full of layerings and segues, interludes and expertise that only comes from musicians that have put a lot of time into their craft, are gifted at what they do, love what they do, and have now created something new that blends all that awesomeness together
Along with the monstrous instrumentation on this album comes quality song writing that includes plenty of hooks and memorable melodies, songs that get stuck in your head and make you want to learn them yourself so you can play and sing along, in the shower, in the car, or in the cubicle next to the beeber loving asshole that drives you nuts.
Eleven gargantuan tunes have been laid down on "Supermachine", each of them full of intrigue and satisfaction, each of them weighty with the metal of ages, and adeptness of true professionals, each of them brimming with anticipation for the coming experience and thrill as the dozens of musical strands sewn together from four gifted and talented musicians gets the juices flowing and the tribal soul humming.
The opener, "Solution", is a perfect representation of what this album has to offer. Fortin's guitars are cosmic in scale, thunderous in delivery, and jam packed with riffs of intrigue and quality. McNeill's drum work on this song is exceptional, bone crushing, and just as full of nuance as the guitar work. Jarvis leads the way with monstrous earth shattering, boulder crumbling bass that could change the rhythm of your heartbeat if played too loudly. All of it brought together by Nebbia's vocals, rough, raw, edgy, and adept, hitting any and all ranges. There is no yelling vocals here, only genetically superior delivery that completes the overall quality of this song, and all those to follow.
You gotta love a song with the title "Josey Wales". For anyone not familiar, it was one of Clint Eastwood's finest movies, certainly one of my favorites. Supermachine obviously are fans as well, as they as put the story to song, and not just song, but stoner rock song. You just gotta love it! There is some fine guitar work on this one, both heavy, low, and menacing, as well as fun little ditties interspersed throughout. The solo has just a bit of a country tinge to it to go along with the mega low, ultra loud down tuned segments.
"Flesh Farm" is a beauty of a track, simple and sweet, precursor to the rumble and might of the main delivery. The song goes back and forth a few times between sugar and C-4 before the blinding white flash of laser beam guitar solos accompany the cosmic rumble of black hole bass riffs.
One of the most interesting, fun, and unique songs on the album is "Crutch", where the guitar kicks off with a unique, echoey riff that catches your attention right away, locks it up in a heavy metal cage, and holds it there until it's had its way, which could be awhile as this is the kind of song that stays with you long after you've run down the batteries on your portable music player.
The closer is "Warlord" where Supermachine strap on their very best instruments and wield them with the intensity of the final battle, unleashing strokes of unyielding might, and overpowering all before them with their combination of battle-hardened experience, born and bred agility, and unyielding heart. It is, just as its predecessors, a mighty song to close out an equally potent and indomitable album.
"Supermachine" is available for download through bandcamp, Amazon, or iTunes, or as a CD from Small Stone Records, soon to be available as vinyl from Small Stone or Amazon as well. They have artwork from Alex von Wieding ready for super cool t-shirts that should be available to order in the very near future. Alex is the same artist that did the incredible cover art you see at the beginning of the Supermachine review.
Review Summary: An impressive debut from a band that's been around for less than two years.
For a band that's been around for less than two years, forming at the end of 2011, Supermachine is a really strong debut. The US hard rock/stoner metal band feels focused and manages to churn an entire full length without feeling rushed or undone. It's no wonder they got a record contract from Small Stone so fast.
The listener should think of Supermachine as a mash-up between the Southern blues influences of Sun Gods In Exile, the heavy riffing of label mates Throttlerod or Lo-Pan, with a bit of Gozu's groove. It sounds amazing on paper and the result is indeed pretty impressive. The songs hit hard and the band sounds eager to play the hell out of their instruments. Even if some of the songs barely cross the three minute mark, Supermachine have enough time for both groove and punch.
There's a lot of material to enjoy here, but the middle stretch finds Supermachine at their finest. Highlights include "Pill Cruise", with its catchy vocals, as well as a cool switch between the melodic parts and heavier ones, but also the fierce "Broken", which reminisces Deftones' classic, "Elite"'s main riff, while following a path of its own. "Crutch" is another strong track here, being a mid-tempo steady stomp, that features a really catchy, groovy chorus and a ramming rhythm. It's nothing new, but the guys do their job damn well, the result is really rewarding. There are also the Southern tinged "Josey Wales", "Buffalo" and "Heavy Bullet", who showcase the band's affinity for blues and even a bit of country, while keeping the metal side intact. What helps the songs is the balanced production that gives the guitars the power and space they need, but also pushes the bass in front. This way, Supermachine doesn't feel overtaken by any of the two instruments, becoming too metal or, at the other end, too murky. The dynamic vocals are a strong point for the band, as singer Dave Nebbia easily goes from a melodic line to a powerful rasp.
While being a great debut, Supermachine do need some more time to truly settle a sound of their own and strengthen their material. Sometimes they feel reluctant to step out of the comfort zone for more than a minute or so. Songs like the aforementioned "Josey Wales" or "Heavy Bullet" do stray more on the Southern blues/country side, but the guys feel restrained and quickly return to the heavy riffage. Also, some songs, like "Warlord" or "Flesh Farm", do feel like Supermachine are on auto-pilot. Still, this is not necessary a negative aspect, as the material is strong enough, but with more time spent on some tracks, the result would've been even more remarkable.
Nevertheless, Supermachine are one band fans of stoner rock and metal should keep an eye on, as they have a fair amount of potential that needs to be exploited in the future. Meanwhile, everyone should give the record a spin, it deserves it.
- Raul Stanciu
I don’t know about you guys but I usually take the time to check out the new stuff coming out of Small Stone Records. Their production standards, merchandise, and trade mark hard riffing guitar sound in many ways set or keep pace with any of the bands and labels in the genre. Supermachine is no exception. Hailing from New Hampshire,Supermachine easily fits on any bill that would feature fellow label mates from SS’s Eastern tribe Backwoods Payback, Gozu, and especially Sun God’s in Exile. Recorded at SS’s go to house of sonic frequency, Mad Oak Studio’s Benny Grotto once again produced and engineered a crushing record.
Stacked full of thick bass, chunky guitar tones, Mad Oaks crushing drum tone, Supermachine has made a steady as she goes modern rock album. Some people kind of get up in arms about that term these days (ironic, right?), but in all reality it is a compliment. Many bands call for a revolution in “modern rock” and hide in the sludge and mire of 70′s rock worship. That’s all fine and dandy, but it misses the point. The band hugs through 11 songs; all of which clock in between the 3 and 4 minute mark. Supermachine is set up for radio domination…if only Clear Channel wasn’t a Bill Hick’s joke…especially with the catchy and melodically overdriven vocals of Dave Nebbia. Since rock radio is a joke and you obviously take the time to find music, this record won’t disappoint many fans of hard rock, unless of course you don’t like kick ass guitar driven hard rock.
Supermachine’s ‘S/T’ release is available for download on Small Stone’s Bandcamp and will be released on CD May 14.
You can give it a spin for free, why not check it out?
- Ian Gerber
Out from New Hampshire, an American state usually pretty quiet, SUPERMACHINE is a quatuor formed -by two ex-members of Scissorfight- just a little bit more than a year ago and they're about to see their 1st album unleashed shortly by Small Stone Rds, (something that would sound like a fairytale for many bands) !!! I already see some readers interest increasing seriously and -generally- that's indeed a serious guarantee of quality to be signed on this legendary label...
The band's name is not really original but catches attention and is pretty simple to remind, also it fits pretty well with the music which is forceful, rumbling and consistently heavy.
Particularly through catchy choruses and melodies, soaring and vibrant vocals, the overall sound of Supermachine breathes deeply the 90's when lots of bands were hardly classified between new emerging genres like most especially Grunge and Stoner, plus eventually what has been called more vaguely Modern Metal; this isn't too pronounced with nostalgic feel and plagiarism, not an improbable mix of Nirvana and Black Sabbath at any moment if you prefer, those guys are good songwriters and have a rather dynamic approach which is boosted in testosterones by a massive and rumbling metallic guitar sound !
Songs like "Broken", "Flesh Farm", "Pill Cruise" or "Warlord" are throwing the faster and heavier sections like punches in the face.
And what about the grunge reference if there's not some slower, softer stuff inside ?!! "MT" is a slower, softer song, the kind of loveable grunge that most of us still like ;) SuperMachine doesn't like long songs anyway, so even if there's other quieter moments here and there, an headbanging riffage is never too far !!! "Josey Wales" has a sweet bluesy touch while the basical riff is thunderous... and "Heavy Bullet" is a kind of mix of both these ones !!!
In fact, time passes easily and even if there's not a song that stands out immediately ("Buffalo" can make a pleasant melodic mid-tempo with worthy riffs though), you rather feel that all songs are good !
The songwriting is good indeed, without being particularly audacious, it is very thick and can count on two important forces : a confident storyteller in the person of David Nebbia and the presence of Jay Fortin on guitar which not only writes relentless riffs but also delivers surging solos with a great dose of groovy blues which often brings an heavy-rock atmosphere that is well-balanced with either the heaviest metallic tones or the more stirring ones.
SUPERMACHINE 's music needs to be played at loud volumes, maybe with a big fat joint and/or a beer but it's so entertaining that you won't need another one before the end of your 2nd listening of the album... in time of economical crisis, S.S.R. releases are still a necessary investment and if they allow you to moderate the consumption of certain expensive substances, then they're definitive winners !
Vinyl and CD versions of this stunning debut will be available on May, but check it out on Bandcamp from now.
- STEPH LS