heavy metal


LIKE MACHINES Like Machines Show Review
February 21st 2020

Three pieces. Three dudes pounding at Atlanta's sludge that's as thick as the air on a summer's night. Something about the music coming through the vortex over Atlanta or under as of late Is nothing short of fantastic. Maybe it's the fact that the South isn't really the South anymore. The remnants left by Gone With the Wind are just that; gone. Cities like Atlanta are full of all things trendy: like online media influencers and YouTubers, designer shopping comparable to the old standards (Vegas Paris New York LA), many Hollywood celebrities and music big wigs have their summer or vacation homes here. Which of course makes way for reality TV shows, movies and streaming television shows.

Even with the modernizing and infiltration of all things un-southern, there is still a pinch of traditional southern hospitality that is present in the cooking, the drawl of sultry dialect that match the heat of the summer, and the hearty souled Georginians that make Atlanta a perfect nesting ground for sick grinds to be created, especially from a heavy, southern-metal kind of rock origin.

LIKE MACHINES is the rock band that is exponentially just that. This band has willed the beauty in heavy music to hit you where the sludge don’t shine!

LIKE MACHINES will not only marinate you like a piece of prime cut steak, they will have their teeth halfway in the fleshy part of your neck before you even know you are being bitten. Lovelies, as I watched LIKE MACHINES pour out an array of ever-important American rock that seeped out of the speakers, I tried to think of just how to describe the sound styled by this band that grabbed me by the girl-nads about a quarter of the way through the second song. I realize that isn’t a very lady-like way to describe being captured by a band, but I’m not saying it to win friends and influence people that don’t like loud, heavy music.

I use this description because you might think that if a Rock Band grabs you by the private parts; male or female, it would be an intentional or painful power snag of force, right? Well, LIKE MACHINES doesn’t take the inappropriate way of holding your attention. It’s more of a ‘cupping’ kind of hold that even when their set is over and the metaphorical hand isn’t holding you (and of course, never was) - you realize that they’ve got ya’!

Now, if you’re a fan and have heard of LIKE MACHINES, you can skip ahead to the part where TANNER (BASS) yells “a_al f_rt” from the stage - wait, that didn’t happen...or did it? Maybe - maybe not...but if you’re not a fan, please read on. LIKE MACHINES’ music takes a head-first plunge into a pool that many dive into and either flail around, sink, or swim; I’ll let you guess what LIKE MACHINES does live.

It’s not often I start writing a review of a show at the show, let alone finish it at the show. As in with pen and paper, but I had to exorcise the excess gray matter of mine (that a Mini-Man said I need more of) out on paper. So as I listened to AEGES, freezing cold on the empty patio at the back of the venue and scribbled this in my handy-dandy rock journal I carry around for situations exactly like this one, recalling LIKE MACHINES set and the familiarity I felt watching their show. They possess a rigid backbone in what anyone might call metal or heavy metal; and maybe this is the reason I felt so comfortable as they played.

These three aren’t flip-floppers that fall into the gaps of rock music, they are rock music in anyone’s definition of rock today. TANNER, ANDREW, and CHENEY take an extremely seasoned approach to their music as evident in their ability to woo an audience as they did in Dallas. Many fans I spoke to that night had not been exposed to the LIKE MACHINES brand before but throughout their 40 or 45-minute set, I could see the band’s tracker beam had hooked the crowd as they physically moved to the front without being poked and prodded to do so. TANNER’S keen cat-like reflexes are stretched between the drums and guitar providing a perfect balance to each. He can jump to either side, if you will, in a super stealth-attack mode in order to echo either of the other instruments. You know, my affinity for the bass - and well, TANNER exercises the best of this instrument’s purpose without fail or flaw.

The provision in the importance of keeping time in metal resides with the dudes behind the drums and over time drummers have fallen prey to jokes and snide comments about being the least important member of a band, probably spawned by those band members that weren’t as confident in their abilities, if the truth be told. I’d challenge anyone to a duel that thinks that the beats in the 2020 realm of metal are secondary to the other parts. CHENEY factually shows the evidence to my claim by throttling the hell out of his kit from start to finish. I mean, listen to the “Hear Freedom Ring” track’s cut-times and how the band jumps in and out of normality. You must have a master beat blaster in order to pull that off on stage like CHENEY did or does.

Look, here’s the deal with LIKE MACHINES and why I probably looked like a meerkat in an arid desert that thought they heard something approach the borough at the show when within minutes of their set and ANDREW started the verse. I mean, if you listen to the EP, you hear a distinct style in his voice that makes you pay attention but it is on a totally different level live. Combining a style reminiscent of KROKUS’ MARC STORACE* with the elegance found in some of the likable pieces of GHOST’S TOBIAS FORGE, ANDREW molds those similarities into an effervescent effortless squawl that is perhaps the caveat to the band’s ability entice those unfamiliar. ANDREW’S voice is pitched to stir the primordial ooze in everyone’s core and joined with the choir that is mimicked in his hands with the guitar, is spectacular to watch and experience live.

It is that blast of sincerity through an open-throated howl that ANDREW and LIKE MACHINES not only ignites but carries the torch of the band’s coded messages of pure rock and roll at its best. TANNER, ANDREW, and CHENEY combine their prodigies that form an exciting and indistinguishable different reason to raise the metal roof up a few notches, or at the very least they are the cause of it catching fire! Don’t let them fool you, they are sending intermittent messages throughout their set that will land into who receives them, that will have to figure out the patterns in the bars, scored with a meaningful punch. If you’re lucky to hear these messages through a stream on Spotify or over the radio, you’ll instantly know that attending a live show is mandatory so that you can retain and witness those messages live, on stage, right in front of your face.

Til Next Time - MRML - Cherri

* CORRECTION: Originally listed TOMMY KEIFER as the singer for KROKUS. TOMMY KEIFER was an original member of KROKUS as the guitar player. MARC STORACE is the singer that I am referring to as he was asked to audition for AC/DC when BON SCOTT died, but declined. My apologies for the error, to all you MetalHeads that havea mind like a steel trap! Thank you for keeping me on the straight though!



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