On A Dead Machine
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On A Dead Machine

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The best kept secret in music

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"9.2 / 10"

To many readers out there the name “On A Dead Machine” would probably mean nothing at this stage as they are still another of the many thousands out there waiting for that lucky break. With their debut album it proves that they certainly deserve that break much sooner than later.

For myself, I have become well acquainted with some of the music of this four piece band from Memphis, Tennessee over the last couple of years. Having had the fortunate pleasure of receiving a new three track EP in both 2003 and 2004, I was really looking forward to getting my ears around this first full length album and I have not been disappointed one bit. It is an album that instantly had me hooked from the first listen and like the previous EPs had me hitting repeat straight away for another listen.

The one hard thing about OADM is trying to describe their music in the written form to someone who has never heard them before. There is not a tag that easily sits with their sound. They certainly have metal attributes and have a heavy sound for a fair part of the music. The tags emo and indie could also be thrown in while a wonderful sense of melody is a heavy focus within the sound, providing an album full of intertwining light and heavy. While other reviews of this bands music have called them everything from new nu-metal to post-hardcore, I personally would prefer to say they are just one unique band who know how to crunch the riffs and mix lush melodies swirling with emotion that is all topped with an amazing vocal display that switches between the smooth to the aggressive with ease.

I am sure that makes things as clear as mud so let’s just say I think this band are bloody great and this album lives up to everything I was hoping for and expecting and move onto the album itself.

The first few seconds of “Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars” opens the album very quietly before injecting what is their signature sound of mixing amazing melody and catchy riffs with bursts of power packed aggression within the vocals.

“One Day” ups the impact of the album with its simple acoustic opening laying the base for an awesome melody driven song that has a strong crunch to the guitars and sees vocalist Brian Link display some of his best metalcore like screams. “One Day” seemed like it was written to go before the next song “A Million Helicopters And One Dollar” (one of four songs to come from the previous two EP’s) as it draws a lot of comparisons between the two songs musically, with “A Million…” having a touch stronger melody behind it.

“Sailing Past Japan” ups the tempo a little and along with a thicker guitar sound and aggression gives off a much heavier feel overall. That is completely reversed with “Windows And Silhouettes”, a laid back ballad like song that gives you an overwhelming sense of calmness within its four minute duration that is both relaxing and beautiful in structure. It returns to the meaty mid-paced guitar riff for the “The Morning After…” with the OADM mix of melody, crunching riffs and vocal aggression. This song was on their EP from ’93 and shows the band with a lot more of a metal edge to their sound and the same could be said for “Cancer” as it picks the tempo up a bit again.

“So This is Life” has a more indie/heavy rock feel to it and while still a good song it is in my view the weakest track on here, which is followed by “You First”, one of many stand out tracks on the album. It has a great feel to the whole song with heavier riffs and melody and an awesome versatile vocal display that tops everything off wonderfully.

“A Slow Crawl From The Bottom” is nothing more than a one minute filler with a few notes and a bit of noise that leads into “Anywhere But Here” a song that has a darker atmosphere to it while still over pouring with a great sense of the all important ingredient of underlying melody that drives the OADM sound. It really shows a different edge to the band as it projects a more moody feel than anything else on the album but still sounds very much like an OADM song. Closing out the album it is chill out time again with the acoustic track “For You” that really does highlight the amazing musical range within this band.

Although OADM may have yet to secure a bigger deal to release this album through (currently released on a small local label in their home state), they can stand proud knowing that they have put together one hell of a great album both within the song writing and musicianship. Let’s hope that someone from a bigger label sees what I and others see and hear in this band and give them a deal so that they can spread their music even further.

For now check out the bands website for more infomation and to sample the album and/or to buy this excellent album head to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/oadm This certainly will be in my top 10 albums for 2005. - Ian Busch - PyroMusic.net


"4.5 / 5"

I have read a bunch of reviews on the debut record from On A Dead Machine and in every review the reviewer has had a hard time classifying the band. I have heard about 10-15 different genres thrown around and none of them have accurately described the band and its music. For example, the band has been called metal, post-hardcore, indie, modern rock, progressive rock, screamo…but nothing has nailed down the bands sound. Once the reviewer has finished rattling out the genres they have tried to compare On A Dead Machine to other bands to better convey what they sound like. Bands like Chevelle, Tool and A Perfect Circle have all been mentioned in comparison but still don’t sound 100% like On A Dead Machine. So I guess I have to come up with a unique way to describe this band. Well here it goes. On A Dead Machine is an awesome band that makes amazing music that falls into almost every rock genre that is popular today. They are passionate yet creative songwriters who have fallen under the radar of major record labels for too long. They mix simple, stunning melodies with beautiful singing that is darkened by metalcore screams. They never shy away from making the music that they feel will move people and influence bands in the future. If I have to classify them in a genre I would have to say they fall under the realm of great music and if I have to compare them to another band the only band I can compare them to is themselves.

With that all said lets move on to the record. The 12 tracks that comprise On A Dead Machines first full length release are some of the best written and most refreshing rock tracks to come out in a long time. Brian Link (vocals), Adam Lucchesi (guitar), Hans Amelang (bass), and Ed Harris (drums) have realized that their union is a special thing and have really worked well together to form a solid album that many major labels are becoming very envious of. Each track features relentless drumming, masterful guitar work, well crafted basslines and passionate vocals that you cannot help but fall in love with. From the first note of the mind-blowing “Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars” to the last note of the haunting “For You” On A Machine deliver an album worthy of all the attention it is getting. Some of the standout tracks include “Sailing Past Japan”, “Cancer” and “You First.”

Please go out and listen to On A Dead Machine because all the critics are right, word do not do the music justice. Once you fall in love with the music please go out and support the band by buying the record, you never know, it might be a collectors item when these guys blow up and are on MTV. - The Music Appraisal.com


"8 / 10 - On a Dead Machine "s/t" CD"

Finally I get to check out the debut full-length from this killer band that I've been following since what I believe was their first demo. Both of their demos that I heard really impressed the hell out of me, and some of those songs have been re-recorded here (though a few of my favorites are absent) along with several new tunes, all of
Album buzz
Contact: Cyrus Nahai C: 404.992.0344 cnm@onadeadmachine.com
Contact: Brian Link H: 901.327.7877 C: 901.336.5865 linky@onadeadmachine.com
www.ONADEADMACHINE.com
which still leave me completely amazed as to how this band hasn't been snatched up by a sizeable label yet. Seriously, idealistic principles aside, this band should absolutely be on a major label, or least an indie that's flirting with that mainstream base, because these guys are great songwriters that, in my opinion, could easily succeed in that realm. Their style is one that's really hard to categorize. Equal parts heavy and laidback, exhibiting a balance of smooth singing and fierce screaming, I could cite a pretty even blend of influences from emo and indie rock to post-hardcore, metal, and a more polished sort of modern hard rock influence. Specifically in regards to the latter, the singing and undertones of the music carry loose resemblances to Chevelle and Tool; whereas elsewhere you could connect the dots to reach anyone from Sunny Day Real Estate and Texas is the Reason to Quicksand. But I hate to just name off bands like that because it's too cheap, so I want to stress that these are only points of reference for the variety of styles offered herein, and I should also mention that despite the diverse roster of musical influences the band's writing is very streamlined and focused, it's not a mishmash of different approaches that feels jumbled at all. Much of the material is midpaced and revolves around thick melodic chord progressions that tend to have a constant dissonant nuance underneath, while clean breaks slide in now and again for added breathing room. "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars" is almost misleadingly soft at the start but ends up making for one the catchier and more robust songs; "Sailing Past Japan" offers more variety with the tempos by injecting a little more speed to contrast the slower dissonant arpeggios later in the piece; quick spurts of acoustic guitar and spoken samples appear in "So This is Life"; and "You First" feels a little heavier and the screaming is especially powerful. "Anywhere But Here" is among the more effective of the darker tracks, coming in slightly longer and with more of a driving surge to the chord progressions, while atmospheric clean breaks and more well placed spoken samples add to the flow; and "For You" closes things out afterwards with a soft, minimal acoustic delivery. The recording is very nice for a self-released affair, sounding much like the impressive quality of their demos. Everything is thick and natural with a lot of lush density of cohesive texture. As with their past efforts the rhythms section is quite impressive and a lot of the tactful flare added by the drummer's performance really makes a subtle difference during some of the more energetic passages, while the character of the basslines can be just as efficient when weaving in and out of the guitars during a more chilled out clean passage (see "Windows and Silhouettes"). Honestly my only suggestion in this department, from what I can gauge, has to do with the mastering. I definitely think the disc could've been mastered a touch louder, but there's also a hint of muddiness to the overall density, so you kind of have to ease the volume up to allow more clarity to present itself with this one. Thinning out some of that excess low-end probably could've allowed more of the highs to brighten things up on their own, as well as pulling the basslines a little farther out. But that's not a big deal at all, it's just something to think about. Because honestly I really like the sound of the singing, and the guitar tones are also damn nice – the added heaviness beefs up the melodic aspects of the music and really lets some of the more open rhythm playing stand out (notably in tracks like "The
Morning After"). But a little more brightness (especially to the screaming and the distorted guitars) would definitely gloss this one over perfectly. The layout keeps it nice and simple with a consistent and minimal
style of faint abstract artwork and all of the text compactly arranged on two panels inside. The artwork's not the most interesting or engaging in the world, but at least it's clean and everything is nice and legible. Lyrically things are dealing with all sorts of mishaps and turmoil in everyday life, but it's all handled in a way that's suggestive without beating anything into the ground, which I enjoy: "In the end all the principles fall apart, Now catch me, By design I should look away, It's a lie and you'll never last, It's so perfect I can't wait to set it on fire, Thank you so much and th - AversionLine


"On a Dead Machine - Editor's Pick"

Melodic catchy hooks are brought immediately to everyone’s attention and then in swoops the dramatic guitar riffs that encapsulate the dynamic vocals that range from screamo to harmonious. The soaring harmonies
complement the terrific drum work and smattering of bass lines. Check out “One Day” with its light guitar
strumming that breaks apart for a riff-o-logy hardcore medley. Sort of like a mix between Ultraspank and arena rock like Creed—oh god that sounds like an insult but trust me it’s a complement to their knack for writing memorable catchy hooks. I think they’re an amazing outfit that’s got nowhere to go but straight up the charts.
- J-Sin - Smother.net


"On a Dead Machine"

While essentially modern rock, On A Dead Machine has its own personality, which undermines simply categorizing them as ‘modern rock.’ The band also obliquely references other influences, such as a subtle nod to emo, metallic touches, a not-so-oblique infusion of hardcore with occasional grinding metalcore vox. There’s also a strange sort of etherea hovering around their music. The lead vocalist who, when singing clean, subtley channels Maynard James Keenan, though this band is in no way a Tool or Perfect Circle derivative. Strong melodicism and strength - but via grace - not to mention homogenized eclecticism, well blended fusion, combine to make On A Dead Machine a strong independent effort. - Fishcom Collective


"4 / 5"

Rising out of their Memphis, Tennessee homeland the members of On A Dead Machine have at long last fashioned their self-titled debut, building upon the blueprints laid down in their previous three independent efforts, and amalgamating the tracks into an engrossing full-length album.

Vocalist Brian Link has developed a deeply distinctive style as he heads up the band's material with charisma and warmth. His words possess a beguiling nature which finds them oozing through the music in a positively buoyant fashion, caressing the listener with their tender melodic charm. Offering an almost abrupt approach here his breathy tones hit with an immediately hypnotic impact as they assert their powerful nature through sheer allure. Combatting this thrilling artistry meanwhile are some passionately aggressive passages which rear up from time to time, exhibiting a darker, intense side to On A Dead Machine without losing the essence of the band. Backed by the sparsely constructed guitar work of Adam Lucchesi which builds a convincing atmosphere through subtle post-rock repetition and more straight-forward chord changes, the music captures a recklessly emotional feel whereby one almost becomes afraid to listen for fear of damaging its fragility. For all this sensitivity however the band possess a rigid disposition at their core, bound together by the satisfyingly crisp drumming performance which comes courtesy of percussionist Ed Harris, and maintaining a largely homogeneous tempo throughout despite allowing for occasional mood changes by shifting a couple of notches up or down. Additional techniques are employed to enliven procedings meanwhile with spoken word samples, subtle acoustic enhancements and even an eerie instrumental interlude making an appearance within.

The album benefits from a thick and natural production which lavishly enhances the songs despite the obvious budget considerations normally associated with self-released works. Creating music this emotionally breathtaking requires a collective talent and a knack for song-writing, and On A Dead Machine deliver in both these respects, having attached their name to an album which unreservedly blows most major releases out of the water. For sure, there are a few rough edges still to be found here and there as may be expected from any independent outing, and the material does have an occasional tendency to become lost in its own consistency, but "On A Dead Machine" is such a powerful whole that any such blemishes are smoothly ironed over by the spellbinding whole which has been captured here on record. Music this raw and alive could never be generated by an inhuman device and so ultimately its proven that any machine here is well and truly dead. - I Ate Your Microphone


"9 / 10"

Finally the debut album from On a Dead Machine is released, I'm sure many people were waiting for this one for quite some time. And to be quite honest, so was I. I just got to know them somewhere during last year, but they are a recent band as well since they were formed only in 2003. I read some info about them and one way or the other their 3 track demo/single reached my hands. It didn't take long for me to notice the potencial of these Americans, despite the fact they had some incredible similarities with two bands I already liked (Deftones and Far), specially concerning Brian Link's vocals (sounds a lot like Maynard James Keenan from Tool as well).

After that review I kind of lost track of the boys, with so many new albums and bands to discover almost every day, it's not easy to keep up with all of them. But as I was browsing through my extensive CD collection I found that single and I decided to play it on my stereo and the feeling was almost like rediscovering the band all over again, I just had to find out what the guys were up to. And what a coincidence, their debut full-length album had just been released!

So what we have here is the debut and self-titled album from On a Dead Machine, or OADM, to simplify things a little more. The style is not very easy to describe, but I like to call it Modern Metal since it's a music genre that started to appear somewhere during the late 90's. If I had to say, I'd say OADM are combination between Deftones and Far, and those who know both bands as well as I do would probably agree.

The thing is that Deftones and Far are not that similar in terms of music, Deftones's sound is a lot more aggressive, for example. When I had just the three track single I was not sure with which one of those bands OADM would sound more like, but after listening to their album I'd have to say Far. Sure, the aggressive parts are also here, but there are more "soft" parts, which is not a problem whatsoever, by the way.

After listening to this album for quite a few number of times I'm confident to say that it's the kind of album that gets really good reviews. Coincidence (or not), the three songs from the single (therefore the ones I already knew) are still my favourites for now, and that's the only "not so good" thing I could say about this album, but that's probably something that changes with time because quite frankly there isn't a single song here that I don't like.

"You First" is my all time favourite, and I don't see how can they top this one, it's just amazing. But then again, the band is pretty damn good, so maybe I'll be surprised in the future.

If you are looking for some good music (and who isn't these days...), OADM are definitely the band for you. Highly recommended! - Metal March


"On A Dead Machine"

Very similar to their most recent demo, with all the same strengths and a few of the same minor nits (like for example some more top end to the guitars would have been cool). Some of the songs are rerecorded versions of their demo material, along with some nice new songs that are equally as good if not even better. Despite the material coming from a number of periods, it all gels together really nicely with a very consistent sound and performance. A lot of variety too, you have some great lively songs, some angrier songs with the screamed hardcore vocals, and then some songs that are very soft indeed with beautiful singing and great melody. The really neat thing is how they do a lot with really a quite minimal approach, for example, the songs are not super complex, but they manage to keep them interesting with great writing and great melody. Their sound manages to sound big and yet really isn't too layered, no obvious overdubs or keyboards/samples, just a guitar/bass drums and singer for the most part. When you don't have a thousand things hitting the listener at the same time, your songs better be strong (which they are), because you can't distract them with complexity. Fans of Hum, Filter, or Devin Townsend's Ocean Machine / Terria would do well to grab a copy of this album ASAP. - Soul Killer


"On A Dead Machine"

Somewhere between the worlds of post-hardcore, melodic rock and a time and place where emo actually means “emotional” lies a little band from Tennessee known as On A Dead Machine. To be honest with you, I really don’t know any quick and easy way to describe their sound. I just can’t seem to conjure up any industry buzz words or all-encompassing sub-genres to lump these guys in with. Figuring this out proves to be as challenging as figuring out what their name means. Is it heavy? Well yes, in its own way. Is it intense? That depends on how you want to use the word, but the disc has its more gripping moments. Melodic? Very much so. Now we’re getting somewhere. Melody and song st ructure seem to be the key focus of the four members that make up OADM. With the strong foundation laid down by bassist Hans Amelang and drummer Ed Harris (love your movies dude!) guitarist Adam Luchessi weaves together brilliantly layered guitar tracks that create a virtual soundscape of ethereal and melodic riffs and progressions. His playing on the emotive ballad-esque tune “Windows and Silhouettes” and the soaring album opener “Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars” are prime examples of his well-trained and tasteful six-string skills. The vocals of Brian Link are the kind you either love or hate. Relying on his actual singing voice through about 80 percent of the record, Link is a singer capable of delivering very lush and soulful melodies while still giving the music behind plenty of room to speak for itself. His voice has a kind of pristine quality behind it that I found fairly aesthetically pleasing. There were times that his overly polished style began to get to be a bit much for me, but out of nowhere he’ll belt out a gut-wrenching scream or two that snaps me right back into the song. All in all, I really got into this CD. While those of you with more extreme tastes may disagree, On A Dead Machine are a unique and refreshing change of pace from the everyday roar of blast beats and breakdowns. - Live 4 Metal


"Winter 2005 – Fully Produced Recordings"

On A Dead Machine will be recording their first fully produced album with known producer GGGarth Richardson (Chevelle, Rage Against the Machine, Trapt) in November 2005. Ryan Williams (30 Seconds to Mars, 10 Years, Staind) has been tapped to mix, and Howie Weinberg is being pursued for mastering. The album is expected to see an early 2006 release. It has been just over six months since their debut self-titled album was independently released. More details soon to come. - OADM press


Discography

Currently Unreleased - EP [produced by Pete Thornton (Shinedown)] - 2006

Currently Unreleased - full-length [produced by GGGarth Richardon and Ben Kaplan (Chevelle, Rage Against The Machine, Trapt)] - early 2006

On A Dead Machine - full-length - 2005

Cancer - single - 2004

Post-Modern Love - single - 2004

Bedrooms and Bathrooms - demo - 2003

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

"Another band that needs to be signed immediately. And yes, I will be utterly disgusted, enraged, and dumbfounded at the hopeless state of music if this band doesn't get the opportunity to move on to better things." ~ Aversionline.com

On A Dead Machine is a band that has become really difficult to classify since their conception in early 2003. Built out of the ashes of the now defunct Drought and Piston Honda, the Memphis , TN band's roster includes Brian Link (vox), Adam Lucchesi (guitar), Hans Amelang (bass), and Ed Harris (drums). Through this foursome's combined efforts they have created a sound that is all their own. A sound that is heavy, but not really metal; while often exploring an emo/indie vibe through soaring melodies yet never really fitting that category either. They've been called everything from the new nu-metal to post-hardcore. While opinions may differ when it comes to the band's classification, most critics have all agreed that On A Dead Machine is an original group that has a knack for writing great music while handling themselves like true professionals.

"Inventing not only a new way of making music, but a whole new way of listening to it." ~ Memphismayhem.com

OADM really took shape in mid-2003 when they released their first rough demo (featuring Habit and I've Seen Better Days), recorded in various apartments and bathrooms - yes, bathrooms. But regardless of the toiletries involved, this rough demo still landed the band a bit of fanfare and international exposure to webzines like ThePRP.com and UK's Audicratic.com. A few short months later the band moved into Young Ave. Sound studio for two days to record what would become The Morning After, the first single off of their first self-produced, self-titled studio full-length. Featuring songs like The Morning After and the B-side Post-Modern Love, the 2003 single made a lot of positive noise amongst both the fans and critics. Consequently a slew of opportunities also began to arise, such as sharing the stage with national acts small and large like Paulson, The Letters Organize, Ill Nino, Flaw, 40 Below Summer, Saliva, Chevelle, Queens of the Stone Age, NIN, and Candlebox.

I definitely look forward to seeing a full-length release from this band. ~ Rocknetwebzine.com

A few months later in 2004, On A Dead Machine recorded their second studio release during another two-day trip into Young Ave. Sound. The Cancer single, meant to be a companion to its predecessor, once again proved the band's worth, with songs like Cancer and A Million Helicopters and One Dollar grabbing the attention of fans and landing rave reviews in a multitude of magazines and webzines from the US and abroad. Accompanying the many reviews, a new spark in label interest has come to follow OADM. On A Dead Machine stayed true to form with their highly anticipated first full-length studio release. The self-titled full length (released April 23, 2005) has been attracting a sizeable buzz at home and abroad through in-store and online sales (over 1,500 in the first three months), radio spins, and rave reviews.

Let's hope that someone from a bigger label sees what I and others see and hear in this band and give them a deal so that they can spread their music even further. ~ Pyromusic.net

2005 saw the release of the 3 track Cancer single and their first independent effort On A Dead Machine, a slew of label showcases at home and abroad (their most recent in NYC at Arlene's Grocery), and great ammount of online and radio support. To top it off though, the work horse that is On A Dead Machine spent the month of November in Vancouver, BC at The Farm Studios with acclaimed producers GGGarth Richardson and Ben Kaplan (Chevelle, Rage Against the Machine, Mudvayne, Trapt) recording their highly anticipated upcoming album. The currently untitled album will be mixed by Ryan Williams (10 Years, 30 Seconds to Mars, Limp Bizkit) and is expecting a Q1 2006 release. As mixing wraps up, the band is busy setting up a regional tour (dates and venues TBA) and, of course, they are already writing material for their next studio release. If nothing else can be said about the band, this much is true: On A Dead Machine is a unit that is dedicated to their love of music and will continue to do whatever it takes because of their belief in something bigger than themselves.

"This is invigorating, challenging stuff...the best to be heard in town currently. 'Let's wake up the world if you're so innocent/And break it apart with your style,' goes the song 'The Morning After...' This is one band that just may do it, too."~ Bill Ellis (The Commercial Appeal)