Hailing from Manassas, VA, The Rebuilt Machine is a five-piece band that seems bound for success. They play accessible, commercially viable power- punk not unlike that of The Used. While this music will find its main demographic in teenagers rather than aging hipsters it has its moments that transcend any age barriers. The Rebuilt Machine recently released a seven-song album entitled Despite What You've Been Told that contains crafty songwriting and that revolves around a timeless simple setup of drums, bass, guitar and vocals.
Power chords aplenty, metronome-inspired drumming, and a somewhat nasally lead singer permeate the album. You should know what to expect after the first song and whether or not you will be sticking around for more. If you are a fan of this type of music and are also an audiophile this is some pretty impressive work. They had the joy of working with nationally-acclaimed and Grammy-nominated producers like Matt Dalton, David Adam Monroe, and Paul Leavitt who all really improved the sound of this record.
The album starts with “A Week Shy of August” as the singer shouts 1-2-3-4 to kick things off. Before you know it the band is in full swing. Creative use of reverb effects is a bonus but the chorus feels like you’ve heard it before. Even though it lacked some of its own personality it was a song that was obviously heartfelt, passionate and played with conviction by the band. I enjoyed “Drama Queen” which had a great intro that I wish they would have toyed around with a bit longer before plunging into the more predictable power punk. The song starts with what sounds like synthetic strings, clean guitar picking and some good vocal work. I also enjoyed the synth they added which helps differentiate the band a bit and gave them an extra layer of depth. “Runaway” is a pretty straightforward number revolving around young unrequited love that could easily be a single for the band. “It’s about Damn Time” is the best and most emotionally mature song on the album. They forgo frantic drums and guitars and replace them with pianos, heartfelt vocals, and melancholy. They eventually rock out but it doesn't have the punk feel. Instead it feels like arena rock. The Rebuilt Machine have made a solid album and it wouldn't surprise me if I heard this on FM radio one day soon. They know how to write songs and will be best received by younger audiences.
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