Mystery Machine – Western Magnetics (Sonic Unyon Records)
Released: 11 September 2012
Formed in Chilliwack BC back in 1990, Mystery Machine are still kicking out their jams. With their new CD Western Magnetics released a few months back, they did a short tour to follow up their CD and celebrated their CD release show at the Astoria in Vancouver back on October 13.
The band have released 3 prior albums called Glazed (1992), Ten Speed (1995) and Headfirst Into Everything (1998). They’ve been on a hiatus of informal means and have recently signed on with Sonic Unyon Records (in my hometown of Hamilton ON). This new beginning has also given birth to a new album.
The current members are: Shane Ward, “Bean” Chris Switzer, Luke Rgalsky and Mario Nieva. Original band member Jordan Pratt appears on 5 of the 10 tracks. This was recorded between 1999-2011 at 3 studios in Vancouver: Mushroom, Slack and Big Midet with Vince Jones, Blair Calibaba and Tim Oberthier handling all production duties, and Noah Mintz mastered it at the Lacquer Channel.
Track listings are as follows:
- Octagon Skylight
- We Won’t Return
- House On Fire
- Bullshit Patrol
- Northern Analog
The first track “Pronto” is a fast edgy song that has a lot of fuzzed out guitars and a wall of music – much like the early 1990’s movement in bands like Sonic Youth, Nirvana and My Bloody Valentine to name a few. Speaking of “Have you seen the world?” is the question through the song that a listener has the chance to answer for themselves. “Japanese-Dads” is a similar song in musical style but there are no lyrics – just a good song with a happy uptempo and decent melody. “Octagon Skylight” is a ballad type song that proclaims “you’re alright/i’m your maker/you can’t deny/things are changing now”. I like the melody of this song as it’s very smooth and re-assuring in a calm way. This song is mixed well. For the most part, this CD takes you back to the 1990’s in a friendly way. The other standout songs are “Snow” and “Bullshit Patrol”.
All in all a good CD and a welcome return by Mystery Machine. If you’re into the ’90’s alt music, this would be a CD you’d like.