De Staat – Machinery
Following on from their 2009 debut album, 'Wait For Revolution', Dutch band De Staat have put together a quite outstanding album in 'Machinery'. Described by the band as a 'gut-inducing slab of psycho funk', its dark undertones and eerie delivery make the album a very individual experience.
From the outset, the stripped down industrial sound is evident. Pounding drums and effortless vocals are delivered with odd sounds and layers keeping the listener guessing at what's to follow; each track unique. Influences are wide ranging and include electro, funk, blues and industrial; the often rhythmic drumming giving the impression of a machine; a sound that the band set out to achieve.
The unorthodox approach runs rampant and can be found in tracks such as the dark blues 'Old Macdonald Don't Have No Farm No More'; an outstanding effort and reminiscent of a disjointed Captain Beefheart. The album is unconventional in that there are so many styles that are covered. From their most commercial song, the layered blues and the Prince like vocals on 'I'm A Rat', to the totally experimental track 'Back To The Grind', the adventure is apparently boundless.
Heavy guitar and big, theatrical beats with affected vocals are all present on songs such as 'Ah, I See' and the rockier 'Rooster-Man' and 'Serial Killer'. In contrast, they stand side by side with songs such as the indie pop 'I'll Never Marry You' and the abstract 'Keep Me Hone' with its distorted strings and pounding drums.
There's fun there as well. Twanging guitars and heavy drums accompany the affected vocals on, what is sure to become a classic, 'Sweatshop' and the tracks 'Tumbling Down' and 'Psycho Disco' show they can turn to dance riffs and heavier rock structures.
The album is full of experimentation and each track stands out on its own. From minimal to full band sounds, it doesn't disappoint. This is a band who isn't afraid to push the boundaries and this is most evident with the last song on the album 'Back To The Grind', where there's off beat guitars, drums, bangs and crashes all moulded together. Their debut album received much critical acclaim and 'Machinery' deserves the same fate; truly remarkable.