• Record Label: TSM
  • Release Date: Oct 14, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic 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. It may not contain anything as seismic as 'First Wave Intact,' from their debut "Now Here Is Nowhere," but the band's self-titled third album reasserts the Secret Machines identity whilst revealing a fragile underbelly.
  3. 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.
  4. Mojo
    The NYC three-piece are a band playing to their strengths. [Feb 2009, p.113]
  5. They're sticking with bloated track lengths and overblown lyrics. Thankfully, they haven't lost their touch for thunderous rhythms or layered production, either.
  6. Secret Machines remain the same band responsible for 'Now Here Is Nowhere' and 'Ten Silver Drops,' which means the toughest tracks often still devolve into hypnotic grooves and motorik mutations, and the gentlest starts often lead to the most bombastic conclusions.
  7. 70
    Adding electronic gurgles to heavy, prog-rock power chords, The Secret Machines recalls Rush and Black Sabbath at one end of the sonic spectrum ('The Fire Is Waiting') and David Bowie’s spazzier, punk-era edge at the other ('Atomic Heels'). In between those far-flung atmospheric poles, the band proves they’re more than just the sum of their seamless influences.
  8. 70
    If David Lynch were to direct a remake of the Victorian romance Wuthering Heights, he wouldn’t need to commission a soundtrack; Secret Machines have recorded it.
  9. This is a familiar brew for the Secret Machines, but that doesn’t make it stale.
  10. Filter
    When the lead is the guitar, the result is sometimes meandering but occasionally mind-blowing and never on the wrong side of good. Hand the lead to the vocals and bring on the yawns. [Fall 2008, p.97]
  11. 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.
  12. Established fans will respond with delight to the staccato wall-of-sound guitars; new listeners may not necessarily show the desired “Ooh, they’re so hard!” response.
  13. 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.
  14. Uncut
    Songs remain huge, sitting just the right side of overblown, ornate but never delicate, as if hewn from stainless steel. [Feb 2009, p.93]
  15. 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.
  16. Q Magazine
    The old fervour remains intact. In truth, their third LP holds few surprises. [Feb 2009, p.116]
  17. Under The Radar
    Perhaps due to the heavier sound, perhaps due to the departure of Ben Curtis, The Secret Machines doesn't pack much of a punch. [Fall 2008, p.78]
  18. ['The Walls Are Starting To Crack'] is a refreshingly weird passage on a record that otherwise deviates little from the brawny but accessible psychedelia of the band's first two.
  19. Alternative Press
    Secret Machines is a bit of a misstep, failing keep their languid, explorative tracks from growing dull. [Dec 2008, p.148]
  20. It's a workmanlike and often wearisome ambition that proves the record's undoing, which leaves The Secret Machines V2.0 sounding less the stadium-psych messiahs and more like a trio of very naughty boys.
  21. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User 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
    The best acid trip album in recent memory.
  2. jacek
    Oct 15, 2008
    Very good, and much better than expected considering line up changes.
  3. reynr.
    Oct 14, 2008
    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 Full Review »