Bookended between Rocket From the Crypt's Circa: Now and Scream Dracula Scream LPs, The State of Art Is on Fire/Plays the Music Machine is a eight-song blast of the group's trademark style that rocks at least as hard as should be expected. Focusing on some surprisingly heavy material, but still blasting forth with horns and howls, the record is classic RFTC and a must for any of the band's fans. "Human Spine" is as epic a rock buildup as the band has tried before, and the opening trio of minute-plus songs gets things off to an explosively energetic start. This may be one of their mid-career recordings, and the expansive styles nod to the future, but the energy on this record is actually much more reminiscent of the band's early days, and the speedy tempos mix with complicated vocals to create the rock sound that the band constantly strives for. This isn't their most well-known record, but it is still one of their best, and its short duration is only made more evident by the fact that every song impresses during its brief stay. Originally released on a limited vinyl pressing and then put to CD after Scream Dracula Scream, the disc also contains two rollicking bonus tracks that don't sound quite as powerful as the original contents, but make for a nice addition nonetheless.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Peter J. D'Angelo