Machine 15

Written by: PP on 21/04/2008 03:25:20

Well Millencolin sure keeps dividing opinions, because they have swung awfully lot as of late, from the absolutely terrible \"Home From Home\" in 2002 to the return to form album \"Kingwood\" three years ago, and now their eighth studio album \"Machine 15\" shifts the pendulum back to the wrong side of the border. There seems to be somewhat of an identity crisis going on behind the scenes for the band, as they\'ve jumped from skate punk to alt rock and then back to skate punk, and now as their latest move, to mainstream - dare I say pop? - rock.

The album opener \"Machine 15\" is a medium tempo song with a surprisingly bitter and/or melancholic atmosphere, kind of hinting towards the one we heard on \"Home From Home\" six years back. It\'s an alright song but we all know Millencolin can do so much better. Same goes for the all too slow \"Done Is Done\", even if it ambushes the listener with nuances of string instruments (what are they even doing on a Millencolin album?). It\'d be wrong to classify either song as punk rock, because both have far more pop than punk elements embedded.

The identity crisis continues on \"Detox\", which has bouncy guitars and a fun atmosphere in the vein of the band\'s early classic \"Fox\", effectively reminding you of the good old Millencolin days. That\'s short lived though, as the guitars of \"Vicious Circle\" sound more like \"Learn To Fly\"-era Foo Fighters than Millencolin.

But the pop rock doesn\'t always go wrong. \"Broken World\" leads this train of thought with its infectious chorus and worry-free riffing. However, already on the following song \"Come On\", the band falls into the main pitfall of the album: the songs just aren\'t good enough. It says something when the quirky lead of the song sounds exactly like a slower version of Steriogram\'s \"Walkie Talkie Man\", and the chorus could be on a Keane record.

\"Danger For Stranger\" takes the title as the only song on \"Machine 15\" which sounds like a Millencolin song. Hints of \"Pennybridge Pioneers\" and even the positive-attitude of \"Life On A Plate\" are scattered across the song, making it easily one of the best songs on the record. But then again, that isn\'t too hard on a record which is dominated by overproduced slow- and medium-tempo pop rock - the band seems to have completely lost it. The lyrics of \"Who\'s Laughing Now\" are a great example of the latter: \"Delighted and laughed upon, the critics had their fun [...] who\'s laughing now, all the way to the bank\". Well, we are still laughing at you because you are have seemingly no clue on a) what\'s good music and b) what makes cash these days. Yeah, turning into pop rock might make you a single or two and send a few shovels of cash your way, but had you written another \"Life On A Plate\" today... well, I think we all know where that would take you.

In summary, \"Machine 15\" isn\'t an absolutely terrible album. It\'s got a few decent pop rock tunes and one awesome punk rock one, but there\'s just too much filler. It just isn\'t a Millencolin album.

Download: Danger For Stranger, Broken World, Detox
For the fans of: No Use For A Name, Keane
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 07.04.2008
Burning Heart

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