Opening the EP with church bells, conversation and throaty humming, their first song drops like a parachute opening high above a coastline on a warm summer day. It’s a cover of The Dirty Nil‘s “Hate Is A Stone,” which immediately showcases the production quality of the recording. It sounds wide, focused and clear. And talk about soul! Throughout the EP, frontman Spencer Kilpatrick delivers powerful vocals that could raise goosebumps on the deceased. The horn section also adds that brassy triumphant shine whenever needed.
The second song “Broken Record” is an upbeat mix of rock and ska that will get you moving with its in-your-face, fist-pumping grooves. It’s infectious stuff, the kind of energy that’s perfect for a night at the bar. A crooner vocal style rises on the third track while the band keeps things together, reminding me of The Heavy. The song “Can’t be That Hard” shows a darker side of the band’s musical palette and lyrical content. “Wedding Song” closes the EP with a joyous story of love, a boogie rock tribute to finding that special someone with whom you couldn’t live without.
The song writing is great throughout this EP; the songs sound fresh and interesting, and take unexpected turns, keeping me engaged and listening. You can tell these guys know their instruments. While collectively delivering a punchy wall of sound, every instrument has its time to shine on an EP I could only want more of. The playing itself is fantastic: this band is tight. Hopefully Failure Machine will share more music to dig into soon. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping an eye on them while I hit repeat.
Written by Dave Tone