It's been said that somewhere on this earth, everyone has a twin. While this myth may not have held up in looks, one can't help but feel Ken Andrews has more than a kindred soul in Shannon Crawford - the primary player in Monster In The Machine. Crawford, a man whose previous band Cellophane performed at the first "Ozzfest" and then fell victim to the music industry, has kept a relatively low profile over the years until now.
Armed with a number of guests to help flesh out the line-up, Monster In The Machine revel in gloomy atmospheric post-rock that recalls not only Failure, ON, V.A.S.T. and other more contemporary players. But also moments of grandiosity David Bowie and Trent Reznor would be proud of. Littered with waves of electronically muted tones and bleak acoustic environments, there's a wealth of longing conveyed throughout this album.
Almost continually driven by gloomy harmonizing, there's a soft spoken aspect to the lightly crooned vocals that provides a dynamic opposition to the music itself akin to two magnets opposing each other. Poppy at times, but by no means radio-ready there is also an accomplished artistic pedigree exercised that eschews radio play aspirations for simplistic 80's meets grunge/post-rock minded songs guaranteed to haunt many listeners for some time to come.
Of course Mr. Andrews has already staked out this territory and thus Monster In The Machine aren't exactly privileged to make the first impression. Plus the aforementioned simplicity to the songwriting also keeps the listener from being fully sucked in. But with a knack for heavily layering their songs while still remaining austere overall, even with strings and the like; the decaying butterfly pinned here still has much sardonic beauty left to show the world.
(3.5 / 5)