March is going to see the release of several LPs from MPT’s list of albums to look forward to in 2013 and first up on 4th March will be Dundee’s Man Without Machines with ‘The Kreuzberg Press’.
Man Without Machines was initially a solo project of Spare Snare’s Adam Lockhart, but it’s expanded from that genesis to a fully fledged band with five members. I was initially introduced them by Andy when he put them on one of our bills a couple of years ago and I’ve enjoyed successive live performances more and more. So the arrival of the debut LP is long overdue.
As previously reported, MWM trade in electro pop but it’s fair to say that it has something of an edge – both musically and lyrically.
Musically the synths bring to mind early OMD, early Human League, New Order and Gary Numan at various points but, whilst the synths often carry the instrumental melodies, the guitars are just as important to the overall sound and occasionally, such as on ‘It’s Closer’, very much take the lead.
The majority of the record features driving, insistent rhythms taking many of the tunes near an indie version of hi-energy. This is best exemplified by the two excellent singles ‘Something’s Happening Here’ and ‘Even Still Even Though’.
The one notable departure from the norm is ‘Falling Star’ an 80s tinged ballad which, by omitting the synth riffs, stands out from the rest of the record.
The records also benefits from some interesting melodies such as on ‘Sound of Your Lies’ and ‘Constitution’. The upbeat melodies and pop sheen though disguise some serious lyrical intent with some politically charged lyrics (e.g. ‘Higher cuts/higher interest’ from ‘Share The Love’).
There’s certainly no “scene” happening in Dundee at the moment but equally there’s no doubt that there are some interesting things happening in the city. In addition to Man Without Machines there’s such diverse acts as Vladimir, Hookers for Jesus, The Won Over. But, of the lot, Man Without Machines look like the likeliest to make a wider breakthrough.
In the meantime, ‘The Kreuzberg Press’ is a fine record to kick March off with .. and there’s more to come.
Here’s the new video for the second single:
Man Without Machines have two upcoming Dundee gigs. They launch ‘The Kreuzberg Press’ officially at Duke’s Corner on Friday 8th March before appearing at the next Cool Cat Club show alongside Kid Canaveral, Randolph’s Leap and Luna Webster on Saturday 16th March at Beat Generator Live.