Review: The Machiavellis
With his latest music review, Stephen Morris comes away dazed, slightly confused and bewildered by the barrage of sounds from Cheltenham band The Machiaevllis. He writes the following...
Every now and then a musical revolution occurs: a new band takes the world by storm and launches a thousand copy cats.
It's a trend that started with The Beatles, continued through to Nirvana via the Sex Pistols.
Now, in 2008, the copyist's band of choice is the Arctic Monkeys. Just a couple of years back, it was The Libertines.
So it was perhaps only a matter of time before a band came along the mixed the two sounds together to form something if not new, then at least interesting enough to justify a listen or three.
Top Five Records
The Machiavellis are no stranger to these pages. And their songs are no strangers to this reviewer's ear drums.
The band reached the dizzy heights of Number 5 in last year's Ten of the Best, beating off folksters and goth-synth acts with their infectious guitars and whiskey soaked lyrics.
So sozzled are the band’s lyrics that an attempt to repeat them here would be very difficult - and would require the laws of spelling to be redefined.
One of the few lyrics to be made out on "1965" goes something like this: "Shezaprizyisingzatavevahseen".
But that doesn't really matter. Shane McGowan's made a living out of far more indecipherable song lines than that.
Poetry in……somewhere else
If you want deep and meaningful lyrics, The Machiavellis are probably the wrong place to look.
You'd be better off with Bob Dylan. Even Bob the Builder might have a few more insights on the world than can be found in the complete works of the Machiavellis.
What you should listen to The Machiavellis for is the music.
Fast and furious: chaos committed to microphones and digital recording.
In the absence of meaningful, distinguishable lyrics, the vocal becomes an instrument in its own right, running riot through your mind with wild abandon.
I Predict a Riot
The music contains much of the punk spirit with riffs borrowed from the Beatles and an attitude pilfered from The Who.
All of this is fed through a Libertines/Arctic Monkeys filter to bring the sound crashing and burning into the twenty first century.
While all of this (including the oh-so daring use of the C-word nestling at the end of "1965") has been done before, that doesn't make the music of the Machiavellis any less interesting to listen to.
There is a freshness and vitality to this band's music that demands your attention.
Your New Bessshhht Mate
You may come away dazed, slightly confused and bewildered by the barrage of sounds - and past closing time slurrings, but you will also be excited.
In this music there is a hint of the punk philosophy that might just need to make a comeback one day.
The Machiavellis are not the answer to the world's musical problems, but they'll do for a start.
With scorching hot music and a passion for stirring up a riot, maybe it doesn't matter that the lyrics make no sense at all.
We may just have discovered the punk version of Sigur Ros.
This article is an external contribution and expresses a personal opinion, not necessarily the views of the BBC.
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last updated: 14/11/2008 at 11:39