It felt so nice finally getting my grubby hands on a copy of this 7” single after witnessing Man Without Machines’ triumphant return to the scene supporting Django Django.
After seeing two fine shows last summer and finding myself in possession of a copy of the unmastered album for a year I feared Man Without Machines had all but disappeared from view. Now this excellent debut single is out and the rest of the world can get a chance to hear a band that, until recently, only a select few have heard and raved about.
Main man Adam Lockhart plays in the wonderful Spare Snare, a band I have a lot of love for, but the sound of Man Without Machines is a lot different. While Spare Snare can often sound fragile and endearingly ramshackle, Man Without Machines sound plush and refined. However, what both acts share is the joy of a catchy hook and a love of pop music.
‘Something’s Happening Here’ marries electronic beats and synths with a jagged guitar line. It sounds both uplifting and melancholy with its swirling sound and gently euphoric chorus. Despite its seemingly repetitive groove it’s a subtly and endlessly changing song, a lovely piece of pop music, inventive and infectious in equal parts and rewards repeated spins.
‘Six Months In A Leaky Boat’ is a Tim Finn song but that doesn’t mean much to me as I’ve never heard the original. Ignorance may well be a good thing as this is pretty nice with its insistent rhythm, keening keyboards and high vocal. I’m not sure Split Enz ever sounded as though they were huge Kraftwerk fans but here, New Zealand meets Dusseldorf in Dundee and it works out just fine.
For me, this is the perfect introduction to Man Without Machines. It’s an excellent, cool, pop single. Man Without Machines are neither rustic luddites or electronic fetishists just brilliantly shaping their own groove and a future for themselves in their own inimitable fashion. Utterly recommended.
Get the vinyl here