Coming on like a hybrid of the Sisters Of Mercy liberally sprinkling some Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction on top of their primitive rock n'roll attitude, it's a sound borne of their urban city environment. Grimy and sleazy with oil stains, the sound slithers over the ears and continues the momentum and vibe given off from their previous singles 'Lessons In Fire' and 'Electric Eyes'.
Welcome to their debut extended player where six morsels of lovingly crafted, unadulterated, dark nuggets dwell. Swaying with every testosterone-driven chord, this London-based quartet delivers a teasing opening one minute and thirty one seconds worth of 'Machine Beat Blues'.
'Persona' flirts in the ear as it follows hot on the broken heels of its predecessor. Already you notice how the first two moments on 'Machine Beat Messiah' contrast. 'Persona' practically skips to an immediate hook whilst 'Machine Beat Blues' is more about evil intent and an ominous announcement.
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It's no coincidence that the title of this six track affair shares a very similar title to the seminal 1988 classic by Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction called 'Tattooed Beat Messiah', plus interestingly that band's debut E.P. known to some as 'High Priest Of Love' contained six tracks too.
'The Resurrection Man' begins with a laid back swagger incorporating more acoustic-based guitars and lyrically takes on the concept of the comeback whilst recognizing how painful the process can be. The phoenix may be rising but those flames are burning icy cold.
A solitary screech from a harmonica signifies the beginning of 'Snakebite Smile' which continues the atmosphere leftover from the previous track. This song goes up a gear introducing distorted guitar and that 80s feel that bands like Jesus & Mary Chain or the early era of The Cult incorporate.
Those of you that are familiar with their singles should find a similar territory in 'The Wheels Of Love' as it cruises on a more upbeat tempo and injects energy into the proceedings. Final track 'King Hell' lethargically enters the arena under the gloomy glow of the neon, reflecting off the city mist. Then as it proceeds, you notice the intensity is cranked up before sustained notes dance with each other in to the fading distance.
'Machine Beat Messiah' is a real treat and a listening experience that pays homage to a time when darkness, raw emotive expression and the love of a good song were ripe during those early 80s. Accommodating the spirit of their influences and adapting to a minor line-up change, this release is a glorious celebration of all that was, and all that will be.
Four individuals and a drum machine merging blood, sweat and tears as they exorcise their demons and drown their souls in the blackest of waters; 'Machine Beat Messiah' indeed.
1. Machine Beat Blues
3. The Resurrection Man
4. Snakebite Smile
5. The Wheels Of Love
6. King Hell