The Sound of Machines
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The Sound of Machines


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"April 14th, 2010 Review"

The Sound of Machines – Creature in the Whiskey (Music Review)
By Andrew Duncan • Apr 14th, 2010 • Category: Categories, Folk/Americana, Reviews

The Sound Of Machines
Creature in the Whiskey
Rating: 3.8 out of 5


With an album cover like that and the surface aura presented just in coldness of its name, you could not even come close to matching the diversity and soft-tinged loveliness that Rich Bernett portrays within.

Armed with an arsenal of instruments and a soft-spoken tongue, Creature In The Whiskey is a collection of foggy morning multi-instrumental folk and mysterious day-after contemplation.

“Like We Do” begins by bringing us into their natural surroundings and found sounds turn into what becomes the heartbeat to the album. Instruments seep in to build depth and beauty with accomplished song construction as we immediately realize just how easy it is to listen to their music. The harmonies are where they need to be and the melodies are used to maintain flow and transition, while gently meandering like a Flaming Lips song.

If that did not pull you in, then the “Basics Of Breathing” will. Instruments sail down velvet melodies and explore the band’s talent both in song and songwriting. The song bounces between Bernett’s pseudo-whispering and Kathryn Dagley’s soft vocals until they simply let the moment go and further drift into the melancholy instrumental of “The Get” — two songs that I find myself nonchalantly re-visit.

The only song that may be the album’s weakness is the song that should be the strongest, but the title track feels more forced than giving the intention of being nervous and paranoid by dealing with the “monster,” which makes more sense when they sing, “Sharpening knives on the bathroom floor.” The images that come to mind is dark, but ends with the soft touch of a ‘70s-style piano ballad.

What the Sound of Machines have accomplished is the feeling of a new perspective each time you return to this album. I must have listened to Creature In The Whiskey a dozen or so times and each return trip, the album always feels fresh. - ZapTown


Creature in the Whiskey: 2010
The Root Cycle: 2007



Pop sensibilities tempered by an experimental approach to composition and recording gives dark character to Creature in the Whiskey, the newest album from Washington, DC'S The Sound of Machines.

The Sound of Machines is the side project from Rich Bernett, bassist & singer of Arlington, Virginia favorites "Go Home Robot". Recorded in Bernett's house with help from Devin Ocampo (Faraquet, The Medications) and Kathryn Dagley (Go Home Robot) Creature in the Whiskey embraces minimalism without sacrificing the grooves or hooks that sets Go Home Robot apart from their post-punk peers.

Fans of Tom Waits and Fugazi will find plenty to love in the sinister stomp and swagger of the title track and "Like We Do". Those with an affinity for the ethereal pop of Broken Social Scene will find themselves drawn to the album's mellower moments, such as "Basics of Breathing" and "Dregs of the Garden". Creature in the Whiskey is a perfect antidote to by-the-numbers indie pop and self-indulgent noise rock. Other songs such as "Moveout" and "The Bells Go On" showcase Bernett's skills of taking equal parts Beck, Talking Heads, Will Oldham and 70's era Floyd, then working them into a multilayered guilty pleasure.

Creature in the Whiskey is best served with the lights turned low, highball in hand and rain pouring outside. As one listener commented, "These are the songs you hear in your head, just before leaving the house in the middle of the night to do something evil..."