You know when a band releases a great single, thus placing relatively high expectations on their debut EP, but then you listen and it’s a slight let down? Well, I do. Edinburgh quintet The Machine Room are releasing their EP Love From A Distance on March 5th, but after listening, I don’t think it’s going to be a hugely-anticipated release.
Said ‘great single’ of course being ‘Camino De Soda’ was released December last year. It’s easy to listen to, swamped in reverb, and strangely relaxing, making for a promising remainder of the EP. However, this reverb works with Camino. It’s laden with billowing synths and echoes, and it all mixes together to form something that works. It’s a shame the same can’t be said for the rest.
EP opener ‘Cost of Progress’ also sees heavy synths, but this time it seems to be over the top. John Bryden's voice contrasts quite well against this, but here the vocals are simply drowned. Similarly, on ‘Your Head on the Floor Next Door’, the sheer amount of reverb ruins the song. Again, Bryden’s voice is showcased in this song, as well as lighter background vocals blending well. This had the potential to be the standout track, but the craning to hear these vocals over the reverb is just too much work, and the listener will probably find this too much effort- but perhaps after hearing the opening lines ‘So I’ve never felt so good since I sang Away In A Manger, Yet I’ve never felt so bad since I went down on a stranger’, maybe they wouldn’t want to hear the rest of it…
Final song ‘Picking Lines’, described as the most ‘shoe-gazey’, again, is disappointing (when listened to with the rest of the EP). As a standalone song, if you’re focusing on it, it’s good, but it seems after one listen it just blends into the background whilst you’re doing something else. Besides, who wants to ‘focus’ on a song anyway? It is easily listenable, but that’s just it, it’s easy, thus evoking neither good nor bad emotions.
This, sadly, is the same for generally the whole EP. Tonnes of potential but destroyed by the reverb- maybe making everything a little too relaxing, as it doesn’t stick after it’s stopped playing. Annoyingly frustrating? Yes. Terribly awful? No. It certainly is Love From A Distance - maybe from the land of nod.
via The 405