On 1997's If 6 Were 8, Jonny Cohen and his backing band, Love Machine, offer up a slew of goofy and edgy indie rock. The hard rock sound of "Disappointed in the Jetsons" introduces the listener to Cohen's offbeat vocals, a trademark of his recordings and live shows. The music changes to a more reserved and folksy strum on the second track, "The Silence of Rebecca." In general, though, the music remains aggressive, with crunchy guitars battling with Cohen's chaotic crooning for the listener's attention. The guitars get jangly momentarily, on the poppy "Shadows in the Sun," as Cohen's vocals sound more focused and thoughtful. A bluesy guitar on "The Snow at Night" gives way to metal guitar riffs on "Mutant Bug." The silliest and most lively track on the disc is easily "Little Stickmen." The guitar line on "Drugs" has an almost country flair to it. The disc comes to a close with "Window Pain," an extended attempt at an indie rock epic. The band is rounded out by Pete Nelson and John Leonard on guitars, drums by Keith Fleming, and Sam Jannotta on bass. If 6 Were 8 was recorded at Ambient Recordings in Maryland with Ray Tikens in the producer's chair.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer