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Askew Review 15

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SAND MACHINE – Porch & Space (Site) Just so none of you regular Askew Reviews readers are confused, let me start by saying that, whatever anyone might say about Sand Machine, you could never say that they play punk rock. Okay? Personally, I’m alright with that. There is plenty of room in my CD collection for a variety of music. But I don’t want you pogo-crazy kids to get the wrong idea. This is music with a brain, music with heart - most of all music that will draw you in and hold your attention in a myriad of ways, and that will leave you glad you took the time to listen. Combining the quirky vocal style of the Violent Femmes with the even more quirky lyrical sensibility of They Might Be Giants, along with a musical mélange of Neil Young, The Band and mid-70s Kinks, Sand Machine are something fresh and interesting in a world filled with imitators and duplicators. From the opening “ATM Song” ("I drive an ATM / It smiles when it sees me / It gets two miles to the gallon / I always have to go back for > more") to the Ray Davies-esque “The Woes of Edgar James” (which might be the funniest song I’ve ever heard about suicide) you find yourself stepping into some sort of through-the-looking-glass alternative universe. Along the way you’ll learn to “leave your troubles on the far side of the bridge over the creek” and go “floating in the air, over Copley Square.” There are moments of uplifting joy, as well as fear and self-doubt. There are songs that’ll make you want to get up and bop like a dirty Grateful Dead fan, and songs that will make you pour yourself another shot of Jack Daniels into that glass you haven’t washed in years. And although it doesn’t sound anything like the Neighborhoods, this is yet another absolutely fantastic piece of production work from the legendary Sir David Minehan, whose work as a studio wizard is bested only by the fact that he wrote two of the greatest songs in the history of pop music. BUY THIS RECORD TODAY! - Brian Mosher
 

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