With respect to the band, there's nothing novel about Brand New Machine and their debut release, The Devil Made Me Do It, unless, of course, you're totally unfamiliar with late Eighties hard rock. In that case, as a rock music fan, you were either born under a very large rock or, as a youngster, you didn't listen to and enjoy your father's record collection. Don't give me excuses.
This Texas band, who appear not to be youngsters themselves, play melodic hard rock straight out of the Eighties era, more on the sleaze side, less on the glam side. They get it and they're pretty darn good at it too. They get the whole rock n roll street credo and put it to some very catchy melodic hard rock. But that's fundamental to rock in general, and Eighties hard rock only invigorated it with clarity and strength.
Brand New Machine works effortlessly with big melodies, strong vocal harmonies, a rhythm section with a great groove, and ripping guitar solos to create some really great songs that will get your toe tapping and your fist pumping. These tunes easily visit the venues of a backyard kegger to a packed sweaty bar room to the outdoor to arena amphitheater to the stereo in your car that got you to both.
They have the sleaze swagger made famous by Motley Crue and Guns N Roses, yet not forgetting that, simply, a rock song should rock and be fun to listen to. The title track, Here I Am (Party), Dust in the Sky, Let me Go, Blackout Overdose, and the immensely addictive Girls Like You (see below) deliver the goods with skill and aplomb. And there's only one ballad, Living For Another Day, but it's good one, definitely having a GnR vibe.
Maybe the moniker Brand New Machine should be taken with little more wit and irony. Against the hardcore infested post-grunge ADHD growling and the emo screamo, my mother didn't suckle me to her breasts enough, poetry and rants of the scarf wearing alt indie bands, BNM are truly offering something new, but old, to this modern generation. Well, damn, good for them. This is good stuff. Get this album, have some fun, and rock out. Easily recommended.
Postscript: The Devil Made Me Do It offers 11 songs at 35 minutes, probably less than some would expect for their money. And I would agree, if it were not for the plain fact that each song is packed with good hard rock. Call them efficient, with not a wasted moment. Two more songs? Yeah, I could dig that as long as they're as good as the others. Otherwise, they would be only filler. BNM did well.
With The Devil Made Me Do It, Brand New Machine takes the new school to task with classic old school melodic hard rock and basically whips their collective asses with some fine tunes.