Secret Machines - Secret Machines
Secret Machines Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third album for the alternative-rock band is the first to include the band's new guitarist, Phil Karnats.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The Secret Machines takes the band back where they started, focusing on blistering psych-rock that's nonetheless accessible and doesn't sound like it's overcompensating for something, even if there's plenty to compensate for.
  2. Eleven-minute closer 'The Fire Is Waiting' is a sub-Mogwai damp squib, but this album reaffirms not just what Secret Machines believe in, but what they're best at--making accessible prog with shiny buttons.
  3. They're sticking with bloated track lengths and overblown lyrics. Thankfully, they haven't lost their touch for thunderous rhythms or layered production, either.
  4. Despite the band’s mechanical leanings, they’ve always been able to let emotion seep through the swell and walls of distortion and static; it’s a trait the band shares in common with few of their louder (current) contemporaries. But the opening half of the album is not powerful enough to convince the listener of much of anything.
  5. There are no embarrassing stabs at pop crossovers, no bitter jabs at the record industry. Just tuneful and accomplished, if somewhat anachronistic and faceless, BIG MOODY ROCK.
  6. On the new one, the drums still thunder and the space rock vibe is intact, but something is missing--and I’m not sure that something is Ben Curtis.
  7. lack of inspired songs, the pedestrian guitar work, and the overall lack of dynamics in the overblown performances make Secret Machines another unfortunate stumble for a band that once held some real promise.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. AG
    Oct 15, 2008
    10
    The best acid trip album in recent memory.
  2. reynr.
    Oct 14, 2008
    10
    This is an incredible step for The Secret Machines. These guys really took it to another level. Josh Garza's drums are as heavy as ever. This is an incredible step for The Secret Machines. These guys really took it to another level. Josh Garza's drums are as heavy as ever. Brandon Curtis' lyrics are thought provoking and perceptive. Philip Karnats' technique is dizzying. The guitar seems to have a voice and it Expand
  3. jacek
    Oct 15, 2008
    8
    Very good, and much better than expected considering line up changes.