Combining aching melancholy with sweeping synths and broken beats, Edinburgh quintet The Machine Room have made a name for themselves supporting the disparate likes of Ghostpoet, Twin Sister and The Heartbreaks. Set to release their first EP in early March, it shouldn’t be long until they’re headlining their own shows across the country.
A refreshing diversion from some of the more guitar-orientated success stories from north of the border, the EP is a brooding collection of songs, centred on love-gone-wrong. Powerful hooks and dreamy, effect-laden jams are the order of the day, resulting in an understated pop shine bristling with heartfelt vocals.
It opens with ‘Cost of Progress’; built around a perfectly formed pop hook, and backed by a taut rhythm section and shimmering synths, it’s a brilliant introduction to the group, particularly when it descends into a hazy wig-out. Next we are treated to the more focussed ‘Your Head On The Floor Next Door.’ The band’s love for New Order is most noticeable at this track’s start, before yearning verses build to a sumptuous chorus – treading a similar path to those found on Glasvegas’ first record.
It’s on haunting debut single ‘Camino de Soda’ though, that John Bryden’s vocals really come alive. His voice is what sets the group apart from many of their peers, a pained falsetto drawing on range and power in equal measure. Picking Holes is an ambitious climax which sums up the scope of the EP, crackling out of life without warning and leaving you wanting more.
With winter setting in, The Machine Room have brought out a cold EP with a warm heart. Radio 1’s Vic Galloway is already on board as will you be should you check out their mix of jangly pop and maudlin electronica.
(Self-released on 5th March 2012 and available through The Machine Room.)
(8.5 / 10)