Thursday, March 7, 2013

CD REVIEW: Thinking Machines “Extension Chords”

Thinking MachinesExtension Chords
                When I first listened to “Extension Chords” it was my first time ever hearing Thinking Machines, though this is apparently their fourth official album.   I had mixed feelings and didn’t find any portion of any song to really jump out at me and go, “Oh yeah, this rocks like _____!!”   I made some simple (and bad) comparisons in my notes to bands like Foo Fighters and “a less rocking version of QOTSA”.   
                Several listens later and I get it.   This is not the type of album you might get on the first listen and I know that’s hard to understand, even for an old timer like myself, because it’s been such a while since an album like this has come along.   Usually, within the first few minutes of hearing any given album I can write down something about it that will come back in my review later on.   But in the times that I’ve listened to “Extension Chords”, I’ve managed to have my mind go from “What was that?” to “That’s not really so bad” to “Wow this rocks”, but again I’ve listened to this a number of times and over a period of time so it’s not necessarily something that will come easy to you.
                So what is it exactly?  It’s complex guitar layers over vocals and just an all around indie rock sound that borders on hardcore without actually ever crossing that line.    The songs can easily get you moving once you get into them and they’ll also impress you when you realize there is just so much more going on in the background than what you initially may have heard.
                The lyrics have somewhat of a non-pop quality to them, yet once you connect with the music you’ll also be singing along.   I’d compare this band to Purple Bosco in terms of the sort of monotone/deep way the vocals come out, but I doubt anyone knows what that even means any more.

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