Rapid Cities

Machinery Saints

Written by: TL on 05/08/2009 14:58:47

Now, if you secretly harbor a desire for being able to tell yourself that your taste in music is hipper than anyone else's then here's a band you should listen to. Because on their debut LP "Machinery Saints", Rapid Cities sound as much as possible as a super cult, underground post-punk secret of some basement scene on America's east coast - And what do you know, they're from New Brunswick, NJ, surprise surprise.

If however, the above does not characterize you, and you don't quite know what to make of that description, imagine if you will some bands like The Blood Brothers or Polar Bear Club, digging up some instruments in a junkyard and bringing them to a nearby garage to play them for the very first time. That's the impression you get from the weird, abrupt, dissonant noise emitted by "Machinery Saints". Lots of twisted riffage, lots of buzzing feedback, lots of odd drum beats, and on top the voice of a singer who sounds exactly the kind of off-tune as you'd expect from an outfit like this. It's like Rapid Cities are ticking every box on the wishlists of those in business for things indie and unorthodox, and that alone tickled my interest when I first started listening to them.

Unfortunately though, my excitement was relatively short lived. Because as the novelty starts wearing off after the first two tracks, which are arguably the best on offer, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to come for in terms of good songs. I've read around the web that plenty of other media are damn excited about this record, and I can see why, because it has that unmistakable sound of coolness to it, but if you ask me, it doesn't really seem to go anywhere beyond that. Pop on a cd by one of those two bands I mentioned earlier, Blood Brothers and PBC, and you should be able to tell the difference with me. Those two bands made you remember lyrics and riffs and screams all over their albums, even in spite of all their quirky weirdness. This album does not. At least not often, though the two first tracks I spoke of, "Manhattan's Hymn" and "In My Mind" have some pseudo-memorable parts, as does "The N.R.A. And The N.W.A", but it is only for brief moments at a time, and mostly, I'm afraid I think this sounds like a bit of a mess.

And yes, I do realize that one of the points of punk rock in general is indeed to sound like a complete mess, but that's really a simplification now isn't it? Aren't the greatest of bands from the punk and post-hardcore genres defined by their ability to sound raw and messy and still compose incredibly memorable moments of music? That's how I look at it at least, and from that perspective, Rapid Cities have some way to go yet.

Download: In My Mind, Manhattan's Hymn, The N.R.A. And The N.W.A
For The Fans Of: The Blood Brothers and Polar Bear Club, jamming in the back of a speeding garbage truck
Listen: myspace.com/rapidcities

Release Date 14.05.2009
Uneasy Records

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