Paduan hard rock collective The Brain Washing Machine certainly know how to make a racket, but whether you find them to your taste will be another matter.
To be honest they don’t really float my boat, despite songs like the title track (excellent) and Restless Night being prime candidates for heavy rotation wherever fans of ‘modern rock’ gather together… but I can see why they’ve managed to stay together for a decade or so and can appreciate why differently calibrated ears might enjoy Connections.
By which I mean, TBWM often go in for the sort of staccato, tune-free riffing so beloved of nineties rock and metal bands; To fans with ears more attuned to more ‘classic’ styles of hard rock – like me – this will, I think present a problem. But if the collective songbooks of Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age and, um, Creed get your juices flowing then there’s A LOT of material here that’s going to get you hot under the collar.
The Show works really hard to get a hypnotic Jane’s Addiction groove on, but vocalist Baldo doesn’t quite have the character in his voice – or the chops, truthfully – that the song requires to make it work fully; Guitarist Muten compensates with some heavy Navarro influences in the six string department and the band do enough to put down a marker that shows where they’d like to be, if not where they actually are.
And that’s the state of affairs broadly speaking throughout the album. Muten again comes up trumps with a very Tremontiesque solo on the uptempo Let Your Body Go but the chorus bottles out when things look like getting interesting, whilst wannabe epic Feel Inside also just falls short of what might indeed be a very good song.
There are glimpses throughout Connections that The Brain Washing Machine have it within them to make quite a tidy career for themselves with a bit more application and hard work, but at the moment I can’t really recommend this album to any but the most committed of the band’s followers, or diehard post-grunge aficionados, if such a sub-section of human beings exists. Sorry.
Connections is released on January 21st.