Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Machines of Loving Grace [1991]

By the mid nineties every major label had an industrial pop rock band in their back pocket, cleaning up the disposable cash of NIN and White Zombie fans.  Not all of the bands probably deserved the attention they received.  Machines of Loving Grace benefitted modestly from that trend, if mostly from track they had on The Crow soundtrack.  Really, Machines of Loving Grace is a rare case of a 90s industrial rock band that should have – and, I think, could have – been bigger. 

I like this album the best, their 1991 self titled debut on the then-still-indie Mammoth Records.  It’s easy to draw comparison between this album and Pretty Hate Machine.  Hard rock guitars, programmed drums, samples, synth, occasionally processed vocals, check, check, check, check, check, but beside the point.  What makes the albums kindred is the quality of pop songcraft.  While most of their peers were reveling in the mechanical coolness of electronic music production, MOLG created not necessarily warm, but at least human sounding music, with real hooks and catchy choruses.  And, unlike a lot of studio-based artists of the time, it sounds like an actual band.
Rumor has it that the demo submitted to Mammoth Records consisted of the very same audio tracks that were released as this record.  That may explain why the recording lacks a robust bottom end, but otherwise sounds good for an 8-track garage recording.

01 - Burn Like Brilliant Trash (at Jackie’s Funeral)
02 - Cicciolina
03 - Rite of Shiva
04 - Lipstick 66
05 - X-Insurrection
06 - Content
07 - Weatherman
08 - Terminal City
09 - Number Nine

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