The Modern Machines

Take It, Somebody

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It's one of the most tired phrases in pop music and you hear it all the time; they just don't write 'em like that anymore. Or in other words, the bands of today can't hold a candle to (fill in favorite old band here). These lousy excuses for being a musical ostrich are both counter-productive lies, and it is always a pleasure to hear a band or artist who blows them up. Milwaukee's the Modern Machines are one of these bands, and Take It, Somebody is a great little rock & roll record that captures the sound, feel, and attitude of the mid-'80s Minnesota scene. Bands like the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, and Soul Asylum are their role models, and the Modern Machines do a near-perfect job of being inspired and not being copycats. The album is jammed up with hooky, memorable, tough as leather rockers and beer-soaked ballads. Nato Paisano has an excellent rock & roll voice, gruff and tumble on the uptempo tracks and raggedly sensitive on the ballads. The group isn't going to dazzle you with proficiency, but they make an impressive racket that careens and rumbles like their heroes. Indeed, if this album had come out in 1986 instead of 2006, there might be bands looking to Take It, Somebody as a touchstone as they do Let It Be or New Day Rising. Well, it isn't quite that good, but you get the idea. They do write and play them like they used to, you just have to know where to look. Now you do!

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