Something Mechanical are a Heavy Rock group from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada and have been active since 2011. So far they have released a demo (2013) and a self titled album (2014) and this EP is being put out before the group’s second album later this year. The line-up is: Colin Pearce (vocal, rhythm guitar), Mike Schneider (lead guitar), Jeff Hicks (drums) and Brock Wilde (bass).
A fairly straight-forward radio-friendly Heavy Rock tune starts off this EP. Gunn has the hallmarks of a group that is interested in the commercial side: sing along melodies from the start, backing vocals that expand the texture especially during the chorus and a flavour of early 80s US Airplay Oriented Rock. The structure isn’t difficult to follow although when Mike Schneider lets loose during the solo it does raise the impression of what Something Mechanical are about to a group with a bit more power under the hood. The title track follows closely after the opener and we are presented with a production with a little rawness to it and even if the song retains its Heavy Rock stature there is some frantic energy added (some Punk flavour added to the mix but not so much that you think you’re listening to the next Discharge). Less Than Human has the overall sound of an energetic thrasher (mostly) in a kind of Southern Boogie style. It drives along as if there’s no stopping and shows the quartet going for an approach which is less travelled by the vast majority of Heavy Rock groups. The third of the five songs on show here is Needful Things and there is a complete change in temperament with the flavour sounding more akin to a ballad and it pertains to the shortcomings of modern consumerism. There’s a nice quiet verse which builds towards the chorus which isn’t too overwhelming. It’s well performed and produced but lacks any anger toward the subject and seems almost as lack lustre as the High Street fashion sense that it is railing against. But the fourth song is the stand-out track for a few reasons and In Shadows shows that Something Mechanical have definite potential even if this EP doesn’t represent that. The verse is a low key and sinister affair with a light tone to it but in the background a fear scarred guitar wails and over all this the vocal is sung in a nonchalant way providing an even more creepy feeling. While the chorus doesn’t exactly become guitar heavy (would have been nice as a contrast) it does pack a punch and raise the tension for this song. The solo has energy and builds on the tension with a harmonic minor twist to it with the only shame being that it isn’t given more time to exert power into the this track. This EP is rounded off with Pretty Misery which is a reasonable attempt at a love-lorn ballad although it suffers from a verse which has less of the finer qualities displayed on the other songs and sounds as if its just there to fill the spaces between the chorus and solo. Other than that, it shows the range of Heavy Rock that Something Mechanical are capable of confidently approaching and as a taster before the album later this year it does justice to what the quartet can achieve.
Well, vocalist can sing, each member knows the how to make some intelligible sounds from their respective instrument and they have a good understanding of what makes a decent Heavy Rock song. There is one problem which is apparent throughout the EP though and that is the factor of being formulaic. This may seem like a weak response as almost everything else review by Invicta can have the same accusation levelled at it but Something Mechanical would stand out from the crowd if they used a bit more of the imagination they so obviously have and they would still remain Airplay Oriented Rock. This EP is solid, if workman like, and its a shame that Something Mechanical haven’t been able to put out more releases thereby experimenting a little more with creating their own specific sound.
After a three year hiatus, Canadian Rockers Something Mechanical are putting out an EP to show where they are musically before releasing their second album later this year.