Song Machine epitomizes the local group that plays for parents in the beer tent when the carnival comes through town. People might nod or ask, “Ever heard of these guys?” but mostly bands like Song Machine, with their retro, rock and roll sound, lie in the background—almost an afterthought, like the parents’ kids congregating in packs by the games and funnel cakes.
With members in both Canada and Germany, the album Song Machine is purely a product of Internet collaboration. Strangely though, this three-piece has created anything but headphone music; these songs are best enjoyed in a live setting, for an audience several Labatt Blues in.
Given that these members live on different continents—and that none of them play drums—it’s unlikely that these songs will ever be heard on a stage, making it impossible to know if Song Machine is purely for fun, or is an honest attempt at progressing a beaten genre.
Make no mistake about it, Song Machine is all but void of novel ideas and complexity—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The repurposed blues sound at the heart of this release is one that countless other groups (see: The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Doors, The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, Tom Petty, The Allman Brothers Band, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd etc.), have tinkered with, and Song Machine is every bit the homage the older generation loves.
The music on Song Machine accomplishes what it sets to do; but, there is a very specific set and setting it is most suited for. Song Machine isn’t indicative of a band that needs the Internet; rather, they should be placating the town drunkard who yells, “Free Bird.”
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