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Secret Machines


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Audio CD, October 14, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tsm Recordings
  • ASIN: B001FBSLZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,431 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Atomic Heels
2. Last Believer, Drop Dead
3. Have I Run Out
4. Underneath The Concrete
5. Now You're Gone
6. The Walls Are Starting To Crack
7. I Never Thought to Ask
8. The Fire Is Waiting

Editorial Reviews

The record is a logical creative step for The Secret Machines, over Now Here Is Nowhere (2004) and Ten Silver Drops(2006). It's a nod ahead of to, yet not a departure from, the psychedelic rock that has helped make Dallas-bred NYC transplants a fan critical darling in the U.S. and Europe - not to mention favorites of U2's The Edge and David Bowie. Going forward theband sees nothing but open skies.

Customer Reviews

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See all 10 customer reviews
It's a really freaking good album.
Meeper34
The shuddering rhythm, and simplistic approach to changes is nice.
Evangelos J. Orfanos
And filled out with powerhouse bombastic synth work (Prog!).
Jamie Ross Archer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on October 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Losing one half of the brother duo that founded psychedelic space-rock outfit the Secret Machines didn't stop remaining brother Brandon Curtis and third founding member Josh Garza from continuing on with their Led Zeppelin-worshipping ways on their self-titled third record. Secret Machines, despite the exit of guitarist Benjamin Curtis, sounds much the same as their previous two records did, and while maintaining the polished production of Ten Silver Drops and the heavy, thudding sonic assault of their debut, it somehow loses a little of both in the end result.

The album starts off promisingly with the stomping "Atomic Heels," which has a scorching guitar riff to go along with one of their most accessible psych-pop products yet. "Last Believer, Drop Dead" is less catchy and more grounded in the barrage of spacey guitar that has characterized their sound, but while taking a while to develop, pays off with a ringing, wall-of-sound style solo at the end.

From there, however, things start to get a little same-y. "Haven I Run Out" is plodding and musically muddy, and its seven-and-a-half minute length rapidly becomes tiresome, especially with a pointless guitar freakout that goes nowhere. Vocalist Brandon Curtis sounds more bored than anything else on "Underneath The Concrete" despite the intriguing melody, and the song's ending is anticlimactic.

The following two songs up the ante a little bit, luckily breaking up the prog-rock monotony first with a catchy, energetic performance by Curtis on the multi-tracked wizardry of "Now You're Gone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan Riva on October 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I listened to this CD at least 6 times before writing this review. I'm glad I did. It takes a few listens to really digest. I don't think it's fair to compare a group's new CD to their earlier works (too much anyway). Many people tend to want to hear the past, slightly re-cycled and "upgraded."
I think this CD has it's own unique flavor so to speak, just as the two previous ones have (I'm not familiar with their first yet). That's why Secret Machines is one of my top 5 favorite current groups.

That being said, I think this CD has many shades, colors and moods. Not only from track to track, but within the tracks themselves. I will call it my favorite, but that may be because it's the newest to my ears. If you are a fan of Secret Machines, then I believe they deliver and progress to new territory on this one.

I purchased this CD on the first day of release and I can't (don't want to) pull if from the CD player! It really grows on you!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Evangelos J. Orfanos on October 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
2 things about this record.
1. Atomic Heels and underneath the Concrete
2. Everything else
1. I like atomic heels and it's very cute. The shuddering rhythm, and simplistic approach to changes is nice. Nice.
Atomic Heels is the tether to ten silver drops, a good record that has grown. I mean when you first listen to ten silver drops you thought it was ok. After some time and a more critical look, it became better. I like ten silver drops fine, it's a great record. It's not the first album, which from the 9 minutes monster to the very sublime end was legendary. It was the call to something new. It wasn't a burning building, it was a burning village. underneath the concrete is a better, tight pop song to me.
2. Now the third record. The fire is waiting is an ode to the 70's. it's driving in a 72 Mustang and smoking a joint and finding out that god exists as you and a couple of friends are parked on the beach. It's so huge and earth crumbling that you cannot help but wonder if there is something else beyond you.
the walls, and now your gone is simply great song writing.
The Secret Machines are not tongue and cheek goofy like Stephen Malkmus, or as masturbation enthralled as Mars Volta, but it's the grandness of pink Floyd, it's the vastness of My Bloody Valentine, it's the knee quake of OK Computer.
This album is there best. It's mature, simple, full of sadness, dripping with joy and at times beautiful
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew M. Ward on May 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
as much as I enjoyed the first two Secret Machines discs I paused before I purchased this disc... I thought to myself... it can't be as good as... it just won't be great... (I was wrong) what an amazing experience listening to this music is - that's right - it's an experience. I don't care about the brothers or the break-up or the press or the sales or any of that. This recording stands alone as a master work and should be regarded as such. I can't believe the depth of emotion and color and space that moves through this performance of a disc. It's so good and so powerful that it's quietest calmest moments are as stunning and moving as the big beats and the thundering grooves... (Again) This is Master Work - and I don't feel that or experience that often enough in pop music... It's like NOTHING else going on right now
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Format: Audio CD
One wonders why Dallas' own and NYC's Texas Ex-pats, the Secret Machines, aren't creating more buzz. Well the music here on their third disk, 'The Secret Machines,' does buzz a plenty and it seems it's always been about the music for this power trio. Guitarist and bro, Ben Curtis is out of the line-up. In is Phil Karnats, he formerly of Dallas' psychedelica jam band 'The Tripping Daisy's', and in Phil is an able prog rocker neuvo. The line-up change works as you still have brother Brandon Curtis delivering his dark lyrics with a other-wordly spaced out Bowie-ala-Spiders From Mars vocals and critically acclaimed Josh Garza, the reincarnation of John Bonham, pounding so ably driving home like a hammer shot the beat and the Zildjian cymbal clash.

Each Secret Machines album features a nod to alternative radio friendly pop prog rock. This album's gem is "Atomic Heels," the disk's opener. "Uncover your eyes
they're bloodied in love whose staring back at yours, honey what have you missed?
You say let them go on fighting i guess as long as there's someplace left to visit. You keep telling me everything's gotta be real. Why don't you lift em up and see, what's beneath your atomic heels?," so opines Curtis on the bouncy pop drone as they reveal they ain't missing a beat in the lineup change.

And then on to "Last Believer, Drop Dead," in which the repetitive drum pound is back. That driving relentless axe chop of their first album, Now Here Is Nowhere, and its openers, "First Wave Intact," and "Sad and Lonely." Though with this album you are drinking down a familiar brew, why mess with this space rock, psychedelica, Black Sabbath, Rush, Pink Floyd thing they have going?
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