Artwork by Maggie Nelson

Artwork by Maggie Nelson

I feel like Lowell bands don’t get enough attention in the Metro-Boston area, and that’s a shame, because the Mill City scene has been churning out some of the most interesting, progressive, and eclectic punk in Massachusetts. Case in point: The Lonely Machines. This trio channels influence from all sides of the musical spectrum and – more importantly – they know how to patch seemingly disparate genres into something that feels organic. The title track starts full of jazz and reverb, but the gritty gaze aspects surge out in the chorus. The bridge bubbles and simmers, and finally boils over with a driving recap of the chorus, before the song slips back into its light jazz drumbeats and coordinated bass/guitar harmony. So when “Honeymoon” breaks in with its knocking beat and choppy bent chords, it pulls you in an entirely different direction. The track sways like a sleazy Building-Nothing-era Modest Mouse tune, but never aims to copy; the band uses stalls and lifts in the rhythm to expertly manipulate pacing, sinks into long grooves studded with nuance, and pulls you further into the almost spinning sound. The bass jumps between harmony and melody, the guitar sways and rocks, the drums lead the way with killer accents, all the way to the final cathartic hit. Pick up a copy and be sure keep these dudes on your radar.

(Also: check the stellar album art by local artist Maggie Nelson!)

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