Haters gonna hate (apparently that’s what the kids say these days), but Machine Head’s The Burning Red turns 18 today.
A contentious release for its nu-metal overtones (come on, it was recorded at the same time and in the same studio as Slipknot’s debut – Joey Jordison is even on it…) and “that” video with Robb in a fetching orange jumpsuit.
Thing is, I’m listening to it now and it’s bloody awesome. A band needs to change now and again, test new waters, and MH have done that numerous times. It’s one of the reasons that to this day they’re still one of my favourite bands and have released, in my opinion, one of the best albums of all time with Unto the Locust.
For an album that split opinions so much, it contains some brilliant tracks, a handful of which are still regular features in the band’s live set – “From This Day” and “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears” to name only two. And then there’s that great cover of The Police’s “Message In A Bottle”. Without exception, every original track just crushes.
Of course, they went further down this route with the next album, Supercharger, which really didn’t go down well with some people – even more so that TBR. No surprises, though – I still liked that one, too!
My memories of the late 90’s are good, too. I saw the band tour around then at Manchester Apollo, as it was in those days (the first time was when they opened for Slayer at Leeds T&C in ’94). It’s the one time I managed to get an interview with Robb Flynn through the university radio station I was with at the time, and he was just a lovely, lovely guy. I only wish he’d speak to online press in this day and age, but (with very rare big name exception), he’s made the decision not to do so.
So I’m settling for cranking this beauty up to eleven and wondering why on earth anyone wouldn’t love it, while supping a beer now that it’s old enough to drink.