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The Machine - Drie (2010)

• Davy Boogaard - drums
• Hans van Heemst - bass
• David Eering - guitar & vocals

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Dutch heavy psych jammers The Machine make a dense run on their aptly-titled third album, Drie. The full-length, their Elektrohasch debut, follows on the heels of two strong LPs, 2007’s self-released Shadow of the Machine and 2009’s Solar Corona (Nasoni), and while both of those were over an hour long, Drie goes about as far as you possibly can on an album and still stay on a single disc, clocking in at a whopping 79:23. It is jam packed with packed jams.

The Rotterdam power trio make their winding way through cuts ranging from the straightforward to the ultra-extended, giving the album a varied feel despite The Machine’s not changing much tonally throughout. The vibe is live, the flow is easy and the groove is distinctly European, right in line with fellow Elektrohasch newcomers Sungrazer, but still discernable from them and still imbued with a personality and playing style mostly their own.

I was fortunate enough to see The Machine at the 2010 Roadburn Afterburner (they’ll play 2011’s as well) and I picked up their albums after that, eager to discover how their set’s spontaneity translated to plastic. Sure enough, the tonal warmth present in David Eering’s guitar live comes across on both prior The Machine albums, but perhaps most so on Drie, where Eering sounds more comfortable and assured of his playing than ever before, unafraid to add a little Hendrix or mid-‘90s Josh Homme-style whimsy to the central riff of ‘Sunbow’ before the song branches out into one of Drie’s several massive jams.

Kyuss is a central influence, specifically And the Circus Leaves Town on that early track and ‘Gardenia’ from Welcome to Sky Valley in the chorus of ‘Medulla’, which follows. Where The Machine shows their unique edge is mostly in the flourishes of their jams, and on that level, a headphone listen to Drie is a more rewarding experience, giving the soft, Colour Haze-esque lines from Eering extra push beyond that of drummer Davy Boogaard’s ride cymbal. (roadburn.com)

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