Immaculate Machine

Ones and Zeroes

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Some bands struggle to walk a line between light and heavy or choose one path or another, but Immaculate Machine have worked out the not-so-simple art of serving both masters at the same time. On their second full-length album, 2006's Ones and Zeroes, the charming frailty of Kathryn Calder's vocals and keyboards are faced off against the significantly more aggressive textures of Brooke Gallupe's guitar and vocals and Luke Kozlowski's drums and vocals, and in the studio the two sides have found a way to reinforce one another. The loud report of the guitars shores up the less muscular textures of the keys, while their gentle melodic patterns prevent the six-string attack from overwhelming everything else, and when the three members of the band harmonize, the results are at once beautiful and robust, capable of articulating an impressive emotional spectrum. The trio have also written some very engaging songs for Ones and Zeroes, from the runaway thunder of "No Such Thing as the Future," to the conflicting emotions of "So Cynical" and "No Way Out," and the gentle but telling recollections of "Statue," and while the arrangements are simple, they also fill the musical and philosophical spaces with beauty and elegance, and the no-frills production by John Collins and David Carswell serves the material very well indeed. It would be burdening Immaculate Machine to call them the great new hope of indie pop, but Ones and Zeroes is evidence they're a band with great talent and promise, and they're already starting to live up to it; it's lovely and impressive stuff.

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