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I've listened only twice, but I like it a lot, much more than the last.
I like it a lot. I liked Valhalla but it was less than the sum of its parts - some really great songs but overlong and bloated. The peaks of Valhalla are probably higher than the peaks of Machineries but I'm enjoying Machineries more as a whole. Feels a lot more effortless and natural while Valhalla occasionally sounded like they were trying too hard. Reminds me a lot of Open Season actually.
I think you're right about Open Season though (which is still their best imo) - it feels like Yan's running back out into the countryside one more time; it's got a life and lightness and air which Valhalla really missed.
all of it really clicking on 3rd listen. I think it might be their most warm and nuanced album. I think they're the most consistently interesting and undervalued band out there.
Probably unfair, as I had all the demo EPs, and can't really get past the original versions enough to enjoy the final version. While the demos had a lot of quirk and atmosphere, to me they've flattened some of the differences and edge to make a more streamlined album. It's all perfectly pleasant, but doesn't really thrill as I thought it would have initially judging from the tracklist.
They were shit live the other night though. Seen them a fair few times, and think they're really overrated live. They should be brilliant live, but not.
. . . they were disappointing but I put that down to over zealous security at the front of the crowd calming their exuberance, 2nd time I saw them they were much better, stage diving and so on and played a good set.
As for the new album listened to it a couple of times, thought it started strongly and then lost its way somewhat, need to give it another listen or two before I decide whether to buy it.
Second time they were a lot more restrained by still played a great set. Missing them on this tour, sadly.
What suprises me most is how few people have heard of them given they've been around for over a decade, had 5 albums, been on Countryfile and The Culture Show and more..
first time I saw them was at the Roundhouse back in 2008 and I've been hooked ever since (now seen them just over 20 times and did all 6 of their Brighton Krankenhaus nights).
could they sell out the Roundhouse again do we think? I don't think She Bu sold out last week.
and am really rather liking it now. I think what put me off initially was that after a great opening two tracks there's probably the two weakest tracks on the album. Once it's past those things get better, "What You Need the Most" is lovely and Monsters of Sunderland is great too. From there on in it's good stuff up until the now traditional weak closing track (yes, even True Adventures!).
Agree that is has a more Open Season vibe to it, and it's not quite as good but I'd definitely put it on at least a par with DYLRM.