Boston-born, New England-based Strange Machines just released their first full-length studio album Voice of Color, and it’s an absolute must-listen for music fans. While Strange Machines’ previous album Turn The Tide leaned more toward the reggae-centric, the group’s latest studio effort takes listeners far deeper into the reaches of progressive experimental rock and funk, offering a diversity of sounds and styles, all of which are delicately woven together. In the time since Turn The Tide, the band has evolved into an entirely different animal, but has managed to do so without neglecting their musical roots. It’s this subtle yet profound expansion in sound that makes Strange Machines’ future so exciting to anticipate.
Strange Machines’ latest album, Voice of Color, envelopes you from start to finish and spits you out the other end. The band uses different effects to add texture to Voice of Color, making for a robust and cohesive sound. Though this can be said for many albums, it’s only when a collection of musicians’ individual contributions ring out as a single entity that music becomes enrapturing, and the new album succeeds on this front.
Strange Machines is known for powerful, high-energy live performances that explore the depths of their music and cater to a breadth of listeners. None of the band’s beloved characteristics are lost on the album—rather, Voice of Color offers precisely executed arrangements of Strange Machines originals while still embodying the looseness and exploration you’d find at a live performance.
One standout song on this new release is “Golden Rule,” as the track beautifully encapsulates the band’s versatility. “Golden Rule” starts out with an eerie trip-hop vibe that’s accented by chucking rhythm guitar and looming synth lines ahead of the song’s catchy theme riff which serves as the song’s intro. The track boasts perhaps some of the strongest vocal work on the album as well, and that paired with the songs thought-provoking lyrics make it a truly compelling piece of music. Around the midway point, bassist Craig Holland creeps in with a descending bass line, while guitarist Mike MacDonald and keyboardist Christian Perron tickle over top of the track in playful unison. This section eventually dissolves, leaving that bassline alone to bring the tone of the song downward, building and releasing the tension before Mike MacDonald brings it home with a blistering guitar solo.
“Golden Rule” is undoubtedly a marquis track off the album, but the rest of Voice of Color delivers with just as much authority. Title track “Voice Of Color” is dominated by Christian Perron’s funky keyboard groove, while “The In-Between” boasts a fun call-and-response instrumental section that will get the even the most rigid listener in the groove. For a taste of something heavier, check out “Enter The Interceptor”, which features synth-centric power-riffs.
You can check out Strange Machines’ new album, Voice of Color below. Happy listening to all you folks at home, and as always; stay strange. For more information on the band, you can check out their website here.