Glitter Machine – Hanging Out For Fame
- Blood and Bones
- Take the Pain
- Black Bird
- I Don’t Mind
- Kiss your Life
- Pressing You Down
- Devils Stew
- The Ballad of Mary T
Every once and a while there comes along a band that has developed a sound that just grabs you and convinces you that music is alive and well. Glitter Machine, the London art rock band, is such a band. I first heard about Glitter Machine when I was asked for my thoughts on their “Black Bird” single. The track blew me away from first listen, so I jumped at the chance to review a copy of their debut album “Hanging Out For Fame”.
The album spotlights the diversity of music and sounds that make up this powerful quartet. Heavy and energetic bass lines, scorching guitar work, thunderous drumming and raw and robust vocals are all showcased here. I can hear so many different styles from New Wave to Hard Rock to a bit of Rockabilly and Electronica. All this enables the band create imaginative musical epics on each track.
The album begins with the “Blood and Bones” The steady, yet rumbling drum and bass intro immediately sets the tone. I love the way that the production has made John McKeown’s voice so dramatic. He has the perfect sound for this type of music. Various sound effects skirt around adding to the excitement. “Take the Pain” continues this masterclass with a more 80’s Electronic sounding beginning. The song still rocks and delights.”Take the Pain” is again layered with samples and tones, courtesy of guitarist Dom McGuinness, and again this all makes a good number great. “Take the Pain” will be the second single to be released from the album on the 2nd August and what a great choice that is.
“Black Bird” is a real ‘hit you in the face number’. The track begins with a heavy bass rhythm from Rick Hornby, that flows beautifully into the sing-along chorus. There are some moments of sheer joy here as the guitar takes command and shouts back at you. “Black Bird” was a good choice for a single and the video that goes with it is so worth checking out. “Shooter” has a real swagger about it, it reminds me of the Black Crowes track “I Ain’t Hiding” in it’s groove. Another superb track with an assertive bass line . Slight change next as the acoustic guitar leads the way in the haunting “I Don’t Mind”. “I Don’t Mind” is another fine example of the control and creativity that Glitter Machine posess as this track ploughs along in a rocking free-fall to oblivion.
The Americana pop influence of “Kiss your Life” comes as a bit of a surprise. It wouldn’t be amiss used in a surfing scene of a movie. Probably my least favourite track of the album, but still a good song all the same. “Pressing You Down” however, is by far the best track. I could imagine David Bowie singing this one. The slow beginning adds so much atmosphere as John McKeown’s vocals plead with you to “Come on in” Next up is “Sacrifice” this has an evil vibe to it, don’t trust him whatever he says. Again the commanding vocals threaten as they demand you bring him a sacrifice. The track reminds me of early Talking Heads.
The quieter “Devils Stew” guides you into lethargy as you are drawn down with the depths of Glitter Machine’s magic. Very eerie and spectral, what a wonderful track to just chill with. That quietness is soon shattered as “The Ballad of Mary T” crashes around in a chaotic new wave confidence that bites. Paul Stone sounds like he was told to “let it rip” on the drums here. It’s a short punk like number that gets right at you.
Final track “Shame” returns us to the anthemic power that Glitter Machine are so good at. What a number to close with. The atmosphere will surround you and the magnificent guitar effects would have the likes of Robert Fripp envious. “Shame” seems to draw a line under the album, leaving the listener in no doubt just what Glitter Machine are all about.
As far as debut albums go, “Hanging Out For Fame” is an album that Glitter Machine can be very proud of. It is an album that I urge you to get hold of, listen to it, play it to your friends, tell others what you have discovered. It is an album that I am so glad came my way.
Glitter Machine have a quote that they like to use: “We make music….. Music is what we do” well they missed out the word stunning.
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