Become - Man Made Machine

When asked if I'd consider reviewing this disc, I answered "Let me check these cats out". That led straight to noting the "Bad Motherfucker" title, and, having a taste for obscenity in the arts, I thought "Hmmm. Well, that's one point in their favor". Clicking on the track, I was greeted with a furious sonic assault mirroring the snarling connotation of the track's sobriquet. More points appeared on the tally. Further, the song's a rough hedonic celebration of unrestrained testosterone and pissed-up emotions. "Well," thought I, "shades of Jon Spencer's 'Fuck Shit Up'!", thus prompted to scan further, soon sold on the bastard.

Turns out the entire album's one long contrast between reckless defiant balls-out bluster and gob-spittle against some interestingly introspective explorations of what lies beneath such rampant rage and desperation. Clever lines like "What's a pretty little thing like you doing here without me?" crash headlong into "I'm a liar and a thief, I'm a snake in the grass" ("Liar and a Thief") before submerging into "I got a box full of heartache addressed to me / I got a long road of lonely as far as I can see" ("Angels and Devils", and, as indicated a moment ago, the lyrics are just loaded up everywhere with killer metaphors and aching frustrated insight). Though there's plenty of hard-driving rivetheadery going on, the dual guitars of Steve Siminski and Marc Hernandez are also home to a lot more melodic and atmospheric cleverness than is at first apparent. In more than one respect, that's the band's real secret: that subtle injection of sophistication that sneaks up one's backside while busy applying head to wall or slam dancing.

There are a lot of really good heavy / metal / bludgeoning / whatever-the-fuck-the-politically-correct-adjective-is-nowadays rock out there, and this band is definitely one of 'em, especially considering Become is a debut from a quintet of young roustabouts from Phoenix (and, man, is that shithole a duplicate of L.A. or what?? I love Ariz, but Phoenix!? Cah-mon!) and about as blistering as you can imagine would fit such a hotter-than-hell locale. Yeah, Man Made Machine's loaded for bear and damn near always running full tilt with lotsa gunbarrel punk, tonsa 60s brashness, and scores of tumbling incandescent ingots of steel and granite crashing into each other under a blazing sun.


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