“Flying Machines invite you to buckle in for an engine-revving plunge toward melodic euphoria.
Enjoy the in-flight movie, wherein the young hero finds out that life is not the destination but the
journey, and that the road to hell is paved with good intonations.”
– John Wlaysewki, guitarist, Flying Machines
Flying Machines are that rare breed: A fresh-sounding New York band whose smarts and
cleverness don’t interfere with their capital ‘R’ rock. A lineup whose gifted singer-keyboardist is
influenced by Ben Folds and Freddy Mercury, while the Zeppelin-loving, Fender-playing
guitarist is unafraid to go to 11…and shred on solos. They’re anchored by a “hyper-creative”
rhythm section who keep Flying Machines from soaring out of the stratosphere. On their self-
titled debut for Meteor 17/EMI, Flying Machines’ timeless, classic-sounding modern rock is
musically precocious, but never precious. As band co-founder John Wlaysewski notes, “We
mesh my abrasive rock guitar and William’s beautiful singer-songwritery thing. He brings the
beauty, I bring the rock. We’re not a garage band, and but we always try to keep a little of that
mentality so we don’t pick things apart to the nth degree. Like all my guitars on the album were
done in one take.” The result is a kinetic record that encompasses the theatrical, surreal and
dramatic. From the first single, the irresistible, irrepressible pop gem “On A Whim” to the pure
emotion of the carefully crafted “I Don’t Remember Why” to the soaring melody and guitar
lines of “Hopelessly Alone,” Flying Machines are that rare rock band who are at once taut,
dynamic and sublime.
William Ryan George - Vocals, Piano, Synth
John Wlaysewski - Guitar, backing vocals
Ken Weisbach - Drums, percussion
Evan Joyce - electric, upright bass.
Flying Machines Debut Album out Sept 22nd on M17/EMI
DOA review of Flying Machines
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Flying Machines – Self-Titled October 9, 2009 by Jose Vela Category: Albums (and EPs) Flying...Flying Machines – Self-Titled
October 9, 2009 by Jose Vela
Category: Albums (and EPs)
Flying Machine - Flying Machines
The debut from buzz-band Flying Machines is now upon us. They’ve been featured on television commercials and shows, gained some popularity in the online music world, and now with their ten track self-titled debut, they hope to capture a much wider audience. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, these type of “indie rock/inspired by classic rock” bands are a dime a dozen these days, so it’s always refreshing when a talented band like Flying Machines comes along with a great mix of substance and style, while keeping things fun and energetic.
The album kicks off with “Talk About It”, and it becomes immediately apparent that this band knows how to play their instruments. The prog inspired lead guitar by John Wlaysewski really drives this song. It’s a very brisk and clean guitar passage that works perfect alongside the dance-like rhythm of the song and William George’s faux-British vocals. The first single “On a Whim” is a bouncy number and yes, it is a relatively obvious single. Not to worry though, you’ll be humming along to it in no time.
Thankfully, they start rocking out a little harder with “I Can’t Stop”, even adding a little punk flavor ala The Replacements. Flying Machines then begins to show their arena rock influence with the slow ballad “I Don’t Remember Why”. It starts off slow, driven by a clean guitar, effects and vocals. Eventually it builds to a big and flowing chorus of instruments. The rest of the album really picks up and never really reverts back to this trend, besides showing their abilities to create huge songs. “Hopelessly Alone” begins like an Elton John number. Bouncy, piano driven and with well written personal lyrics. The climax is brilliant as it reminds one of an arena style Queen song.
“Video Games” and “Stay” give the guitar another chance to shine. They are briskly paced with equally groovy and driving rhythms. “Patterns” and closer “Clearing the Boards” again play with the piano and this time bounce and groove more than before. Both include incredibly catchy choruses and show William George’s range and ability to convey what he’s feeling, without feeling forced.
Flying Machines are well on their way to becoming a big band. They have enough buzz surrounding them on the internet without over exploiting them and they certainly have the talent to excel. I hope they continue to grow and progress because the possibilities are endless at this rate.
Flying Machines - CD Review
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FLYING MACHINES METEOR 17 / EMI The fact that Flying Machines appropriates the name of James Taylo...FLYING MACHINES
METEOR 17 / EMI
The fact that Flying Machines appropriates the name of James Taylor’s first outfit, pre-his “Sweet Baby James” stardom, and that the band’s sound echoes an unlikely mix of Freddy Mercury, Eric Carmen and Ben Folds with a load of high voltage amplitude tossed in, doesn’t belie their fresh enthusiasm on this, their stirring debut. Youthful indulgence aside, the band emits an earnest attitude and an effusive exuberance that engulfs the entire LP and ups the antes via a high-octane assault. Propulsive rhythms and catchy melodies predominate here, with songs like “Video Games, “Hopelessly Alone” and “Cleaning the Boards” providing the most lingering impressions. Likewise, the occasional moment of emotional respite – as offered through “I Don’t Remember Why” and “Stay” — suggests that while the lads might eventually mellow with age, they’ll clearly do so gracefully. Indeed, their astute arrangements and a clear sense of confidence — buoyed no doubt by the input and encouragement of mentor and veteran hit-maker Spencer Proffer — make a commercial breakthrough an imminent possibility. All in all then, an impressive introduction, one which gives future offerings ample cause for anticipation. Watch for the Flying Machines to take off quickly.
flying machines - ultimate guitar review
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Sound: New York’s Flying Machines have been garnering some impressive comparisons in the months befo...Sound: New York’s Flying Machines have been garnering some impressive comparisons in the months before their debut self-titled record’s release. Queen, Ben Folds, The Strokes, Weezer, The Police and a wild assortment of other bands have been said to have similar styles, and it’s true that you can find subtle elements of every genre/band/style within the Flying Machines. When it comes down to the basics, however, it’s the Ben Folds and The Strokes (or perhaps even The Bravery) references that rings the most true. Although frontman William Ryan George has a more versatile voice than Folds, his piano/keyboard skills relay the same happy yet intricate style that you might hear in a track like “Battle of Who Could Care Less.” There is an undeniable pop vibe to the Flying Machines even with its use of guitars, but the material is still spot-on in terms of the melodic creativity.
The band opted for their riff-driven side to open the album with “Talk About It,” a track that is akin to The Bravery’s “Honest Mistake.” Guitarist John Wlaysewski gets the spotlight in “Talk About It,” and he makes some intriguing choices effects-wise. George does have a moment where he takes to the piano and delivers a bit of a Latin breakdown, but for the most part this is an energetic song that is driven by a rock sound. It should be mentioned that as a vocalist, George shines from the first to the last track. He takes an opportunity in most of the songs to show his range, and his falsetto is amazing.
“On A Whim” and “Patterns” have the happy-go-lucky Folds vibe, with rich piano lines underlying most of the vocals. George is a master at creating lush vocal harmonies (particularly given that he is able to reach a much higher range than most male singers), and in many ways the vocals almost add another level of instrumentation. The biting/cynical vibe that you might hear in a Ben Folds song is not present, but there’s so much going on in the audio mix that the Flying Machines are still able to hold one’s interest without lyrical stimulation.
The Queen comparison has been popping up in bios, but that aspect of the band never becomes apparent until the last song “Clearing The Boards.” That particular track starts out with a grand, piano-driven melody, but there is a quality to George’s voice that does broach Freddie Mercury territory. In the end it’s the guitar work from Wlaysewski that captures the spirit of Brian May. Between the impressive solo work, pounding piano, and numerous musical sections, it’s appropriate to deem “Clearing the Boards” as the epic number of the album. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Although the musical aspect of the Flying Machines takes on a larger-than-life feel at times, the lyrical content remains fairly standard as far as pop rock bands go. Sample lyrics include lines such as, “On a Whim; I'll come back so relax and breathe; Don't turn it in till we decide to face facts; All my worries are on to you.” There’s nothing that necessarily stands out about them, but they are not bad by any means. This is pretty much the case for the majority of the album, but again, the lush arrangements keep you occupied most of the time. // 7
Impression: The pop-driven style to Flying Machines can be an acquired taste. I listened to the album a few times before truly starting to appreciate their sound. Once you start to hear the elaborate instrumentation that is happening within the album, you’ll probably find yourself going back to hear the songs again and again. Although William Ryan George does steal the show most of the time by his vocals alone, the Flying Machines has an impressive rhythm section that has helped to create some intriguing arrangements. // 9
blogcritics.org Flying Machines review
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It’s 1979, and Big Radio is grappling with the dichotomy between the bombast of Queen, and the new w...It’s 1979, and Big Radio is grappling with the dichotomy between the bombast of Queen, and the new wave of The Police. Nobody really knows which way to go, and the airwaves momentarily open up to allow such one-hit wonders as The Headboys, New England, and The Fabulous Poodles in.
The sad fact that the doors closed soon after is of little consequence. Just being heard may not have been all those bands were after, but honestly, it was better than nothing.
I find myself wondering if the same fate awaits Flying Machines. This is a really good band, albeit one with way too much Queen damage. But still, their eponymous (God, I love that word) debut has all the makings of a hit.
From the semi-prog opening cut “Talk About It” to the concluding “Clearing The Boards,” Flying Machines honestly makes me feel as if I am in the late seventies. Better than that though, they actually make me remember long lost bands like Nantucket.
Of the ten songs on Flying Machines, “Video Games” is the clearly the winner. Vocalist William Ryan George does an amazing job at channeling the ghost of Freddie Mercury, while guitarist Ken Weisbach does the best Andy Summers imitation ever.
When I mention the Queen influence, it is overt. Flying Machines clearly love the band, and it shows. Better yet, they seem to have listened only to the early stuff, before “Bohemian Rhapsody.” So you hear tributes to the likes of “Brighton Rock” and “Keep Yourself Alive” rather than the more obvious choices.
There is a lot more to Flying Machines than the Queen tag though. Bassist Evan Joyce is incredible on “Hopelessly Alone.” And guitar player John Wlaysewski seriously rocks it on “Clearing The Boards.”
Flying Machines are a marketer’s dream band. They have won tons of online polls, and Yahoo! Is behind them big-time. Let’s hope they can get past all of the hoopla, (anybody remember Rail?) and get their music heard.
I for one, like this a lot. Their debut is worth hearing, and a reminder that some of the best stuff out there still comes from kids listening to their favorite records in the basement, and re-writing them.
Weird choice that it is, “1979” is probably my favorite Smashing Pumpkins song. Flying Machines takes me back in such an indelible way to that very odd, and ultimately very rewarding year.
MUZIKREVIEWS - Flying Machines album review
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Flying Machines Flying Machines Flying Machines show they can certainly rock on their se...Flying Machines
Flying Machines show they can certainly rock on their self-titled debut album. It’s a classic kind of rock (the influence of legendary artists is obvious) but these guys aren’t throwbacks or copycats. As others have already observed, Queen is the most noticeable inspiration for these New York songsters, but Flying Machines aren’t clones. The similarities seem to come from a heartfelt camaraderie with Doctor Brian May’s venerable band. They’re sort of picking up where their idols left off, blazing their own path from there.
Producers Spencer Proffer and Steve Plunkett, both mainstream music industry veterans, help the quartet churn through some intelligent arrangements. The patchworks of clever orchestration and dramatic Brahmsish themes remind one of a certain legendary rock band, but Flying Machines have plenty of their own bright ideas. Amidst the frenetic rocking you’ll find tasteful piano solos, harmonious bleeps (on “Video Games”) and artful song structures. John Wlaysewski’s excellent six-string work is the centerpiece of the band’s sound. In a timeless crunch he launches a plethora of catchy riffs and perfectly constructed melodies, proving awesome guitar-driven rock is still possible. That’s not to put down the rest of the band. Evan Joyce does a fine job on bass and Ken Weisbach is a notably tasteful and creative drummer. Vocalist/frontman/keyboardist William Ryan George has a lively, precise singing style. His voice goes from subdued to blaring in a blink and he makes the intricate melodies seem easy. He shows how evocative his voice can be on the ballad “I Don’t Remember Why.” Even with occasional Queen-style ultra-clean falsetto harmonies behind him, George’s singing is pretty damn good.
There are a few mediocre spots on the album. Some of the arena rock lyrics leave something to be desired (“I won’t give in to you, ‘cuz you only want to keep me down”). The song “Gina Don’t Call me” is ignorable, but still rocks and has some remarkable guitar playing. Regardless, Flying Machines seem to be on the cusp of well-deserved stardom. Their music has been featured on Yahoo Music and the USA Network show PSYCH (part of a cooperative marketing venture). It is easy to imagine throngs of young, adoring fans singing along and buying Flying Machines merchandise. That may not be your thing, but if you are looking for some excellent straight-ahead rock with a lot of energy and an intelligent streak, check out Flying Machines.
Nathaniel Rolnick – MuzikReviews.com Contributor
Talk About It
On A Whim
I Can't Stop
I Don't Remember Why
Gina Don't Call Me
Clearing the Boards
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