Machine Head

Supercharger

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

The diehards who saw Machine Head as metallic saviors when the group's Burn My Eyes debut filled an overlooked niche of heavy music didn't appreciate the experimentation on Burning Red. Some of the criticism that the band took from the faithful was almost laughable -- Rob Flynn tones down the screams, learns to sing a bit, and he's crucified for it? However, even sans cliquishness, the preceding disc was the weakest of the band's career at that point. The band reacted to the backlash by compromising, it seems. Supercharger has some ham-fisted moments straight from the early thrash days (as if to make a point, the riff that drives lead track "Bulldozer" does exactly that), but it never gets stuck there. Look no further than "American High," a song with the cadence of "Ballroom Blitz" and a similarly insipid lexis that's catchy in spite of itself. The dilemma is not so much the sonic scope of the record, which -- truth be told -- is the most well-rounded effort the band has managed to date, but the quantity: way too many tracks blur by without demanding attention, relegating the few standout songs as too little, too late.

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