Spy Machine 16 - How Things Come Apart
Record Label: None
Release Date: July, 2007
"It's hard / It's soft / It's back and forth / For all of us."
Seems like a random, unpredictable, and almost nonsensical statement, doesn't it? These are some of the words to Spy Machine 16's "For The Jocks Who Scream From Cars." And these words almost perfectly describe their latest release, How Things Come Apart. I would throw the word "different" in with the words to describe this release, but that's just me. However, words like random, unpredictable, nonsensical, and different are not always bad qualities. Spy Machine 16 might as well have named this release something like: "Who Says We Have To Be Like Everyone Else?!"
For starters on the "different" subject, the band has eight members: Dave Hudson and Jeff Beemer on guitars, Kyle Squance on bass, Dave Bazinet on drums, Olivia Brown and Jess Tollefsen on keys, and Kurt Krausewitz and Amy Armstrong on the dance squad. Now if you are wondering who the vocalist is, then I'll tell you: all eight of the band members participate in lead vocals. That alone sends my "different" radar blinking like crazy. Another factor of "different" is that the band is heavy on keys a lot. Which, I guess, is the reason for the dual keys players.
The CD kicks off with "On Struggles For Change And Hope" which starts heavy on keys, and stays that way almost all the way through. There are some intricate guitars in the middle. Then about half way through, the tempo slows down and there is only a lightly played guitar, with finger snaps to hold the beat, and the vocals are also lightly sung here; this keeps the mood nice and easy. Then, the drum creeps in, until finally, everything comes back into it until the end of the song. Good song, nothing ingenious, but good nonetheless.
Song two of How Things Come Apart is an amusing one. "For The Jocks Who Scream From Cars" begins with hand clapping, and the opening verse goes: "Hey you in the car/Stay out of my bedroom/You weren't invited in/You wouldn't know what to do anyway." I don't know about you, but I laughed.
Track five, "The Lowdown On Retail Therapy", is probably Spy Machine 16's weakest point. They tried to slow the tempo down way too much, and it didn't work too well. However, the song is only 1:29 long, so it doesn't have a big impact. You may not even realize it was a song because you turned down the volume to take a call from your mother asking you to pick up some eggs on the way home.
Now, take a deep breath before saying this next title: "Disappointed Tourist, Lost And Confused After Wandering Into A Free Trade Zone By Mistake". This song starts out with hypnotizing keys that almost make your head spin, but in a good way. The band has a way of doing that to you.
Really, my only complaint from this release is that most of the lyrics don't seem to make much sense, not to me, anyway. For the most part, the lyrics seem to be pretty random. But hey, if they enjoy playing randomness, who am I to complain?
All in all, How Things Come Apart is a decent release. Nothing groundbreaking, but decent. Spy Machine 16 is definitely more different than any other band I know, so they get some points for that, right?