With Axioms, Impossible Recording Machine marks an impressive debut while adding another notch to the increasingly eclectic belt of Positron! Records (owned and run by Sister Machine Gun frontman Chris Randall). Running the gamut from jagged industrial clangs to wispy electronic murmurs, the album's 15 tracks forge through refreshingly original territory. Although Axioms serves as the debut for Impossible Recording Machine, it's actually the second time the band's two members have worked together. Having previously recorded as Retina, Matt Walker (the Smashing Pumpkins, Filter, Cupcakes) and Jim Dinou (Exo) reunite to create a more varied mix on this outing, showcasing the duo's talent for mixing the traditional with the spontaneous and the electronic with the acoustic. Essentially three five-song EPs combined into one set, Axioms' track order can be rearranged into separate sections. "Inertia," the first, contains a set of ambient songs with hushed loops, mellow pads, and skittering beats. The duo uses the minimalism and minor/major interaction throughout the section to its fullest, giving a sense of both sadness and comfort. The next section, "Acceleration," propels the set forward while helping to bridge the gap between the largely experimental first section and more conventional third. "Interference" acts as an introduction here, setting the stage then abruptly giving way to the percussive assault of "Compulsive 3." It's here that Matt Walker lets loose and showcases his exceptional drumming coupled with a barrage of distortion, overdrive, and phaser effects. With its cinematic atmospherics enhanced by agile synthesizer work, "Acceleration" leads into the third and final section, "Interaction." Featuring more pop-oriented songs such as "Safety in Numbers" and "The Bells," "Interaction" reveals Impossible Recording Machine's more accessible side, with conventional song structures and Jim Dinou's emotive vocal work. The old adage that "a song is never truly finished" is one that Walker and Dinou have been said to live by. However, it seems -- at least on Axioms -- they've loosened their grip and have left any apprehensions behind. With a satisfying balance of both straight-on hooks and trippy explorations, Impossible Recording Machine has released an intoxicating album that whets the appetite for more.
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AllMusic Review by Don Kline