Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Machines Dream

Yes, it's that time once again fellow progheads...and thanks for coming back!  The fall season is just getting revved up; Mother Nature is showing off the splendor of her colors, sleeping with the windows open is a hit-or-miss proposition, and the Concert Closet is testing the HVAC system with a trip to Canada this week...Ontario to be a bit more specific, as we take a listen to Machines Dream.

Machines Dream describes themselves as "...a band that wasn't supposed to be a band...progressive, atmospheric rock..."  While I admit it doesn't take much of a hook to lure me in, this does make for a curious prog blogger; a band that wasn't supposed to be a band...hmmm...time to break out the headphones and saunter up to the prog buffet once more...

My first course this week consists of a strong tune called "Toronto Skyline."  Immediately I get the sense this song is deep...the acoustic guitar almost stings as the mood starts to swell.  The drums and keyboards soon fill in the gaps and an accompanying electric guitar actually seems to drag the song down deeper--but don't mistake that for something dreadful--this song thrives on the weight.  When you hear aching vocals about feeling "...alone and...old again against the...cold Toronto Skyline" you get the sense the voice echoes from a wounded heart.

Serving number two is another emotional head slap called "Locusts."  Machines Dream seems to enjoy using dark colors to paint a bright picture.  This song slowly creeps along the inner lining of your skull, clinging like ivy on the outfield wall at Wrigley Field...and as the song fades out there is a strong sagacity of acute mental meltdown.  Machines Dream has dark, rich, poignant soil in their section of the prog garden.

Liner Notes...Machines Dream is Brian Holmes on keyboards and bass, Craig West on guitar, lead vocals, and bass, Jake Rendell on bass, backing vocals,and mandolin, Ken Coulter on drums, and Rob Coleman on guitar.  A five-man operation that meshes extremely well...Machines Dream has an aura of Pink Floyd and early Genesis, and there are hints of Marillion and Radiohead in their style as well. This is a band that swims in the deep end of the pool.  Think progressive rock with a shot of
bourbon--it might sting going down, but the satisfaction lingers a good long while...

My third choice from the menu is called "Unarmed At Sea."  A calmer, almost soothing lead in with more of that signature acoustic guitar work.  Machines Dream filled their prog acreage with strong imagery, heavy sounds, and a nod to the early visionaries and latter day ground breakers of the genre; notably King Crimson, Yes, and Tool.  This song reaches inside you slowly while nonchalantly grasping your insides and slowly pulling you down.  The darkness once again moves in like nothing more than a routine storm cloud--but the mood is almost desolate as the guitars and drums swallow you whole.  Machines Dream is a band that forces you to find your own outer edge and then dance on it.

The clip below is called "Mad For All Seasons."  Ironically,  this tune is a bit more upbeat than most I have listened to this week--but it ain't even close to clowns and cotton candy.  Machines Dream plays with emotion and feeling and that comes through immediately when the laser hits the disc.  But before you push the  start arrow, clear your head and dim the lights...this is a band that understands the importance of pulling you in so as push you out.  Learn more about Machines Dream at http://machinesdream.com/     
Canada has proven to be fertile ground for the prog garden...one need listen no further than Rush to get an adult dose of Canadian prog rock, and Machines Dream is but one more example of an impressive  export from "The Great White North."  The Concert Closet has traveled this close to the Arctic in the past and after this week I will probably scope the landscape for other prominent up and coming progressive artists.  So off to continue the search...until next week...

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