I first encountered Sweet Little Machine as they opened for Patent Pending earlier this year and, frankly, they blew me away. And the wife. And our eldest. Simply put, they were ideal openers for the liveliest, funniest pop-punk band out there as they seemed to share the same fun-loving outlook and bounce.
At the time, they were supporting their 5-track War EP (reviewed previously), which I happily downloaded and thoroughly enjoyed when I got home. Well, I can now add another six great tracks to the collection courtesy of Monsters.
While the music is as blisteringly fast and raucous as ever, if I can pick up on one difference between Monsters and War it’s that the newer offer just seems a tad more angry. Which is weird given the title of the first EP. However, I may be basing this purely on the third track, “D!ckwad”, which shares an origin with Patent Pending’s “Dating a Dick” and essentially just tears holes in someone’s other half for being a “wanker … dickwad … pigface … shitbag” (if I picked up the lyrics properly). Despite a brief, reggae-lite break in the middle this definitely isn’t a happy track! What it is, is catchy as hell.
Likewise, opener “Kill The Hero” uses some particularly abrasive vocals to kick off but ends up being a quality rip-roaring rock’n’roll meets punk number, reminiscent of the Wildhearts in its use of twists on classic riffs. The only thing that would improve this song would be some Jerry Lee Lewis piano around the 2-minute mark. “Hurricanes” doesn’t need any lyrics as you’ll just have “Wo-oh-ah-oh-oh” going round in your head for days.
Title track “Monsters” has a brilliant, shouty chorus which will have audienced pogo-ing and running out of breath as they sing along before the brief respite of some “wo-oh”‘s and synchronised clapping.
“Miracles” is the only song I’d class as even being remotely weak, and that’s only in comparison to the others on the EP. I don’t know why, but for some reason it just didn’t hit me with the impact of the other songs. It’s still streets ahead of material being produced by other bands, though.
The most “different” of the songs is the final number, “A Day Too Soon”. Acoustic and produced to sound like it’s playing off a crackly old ’45, this unusual ending to the album is also the shortest track on it. It does edge a little into Green Day territory, but not so much that it sounds like Sweet Little Machine are trying to rip off the Californian megastars.
Monsters is a brilliant little collection and follows on perfectly from War. If you’ve got neither, I’d recommend picking up both. What’s even better is that I already know the band are great live, and you can catch them later this month opening for Reel Big Fish on the Fireball tour.
- 11.10.17 O2 Ritz Manchester
- 12.10.17 O2 Academy Bristol
- 13.10.17 O2 Academy Leicester
- 15.10.17 O2 Academy Leeds
- 16.10.17 O2 Forum Kentish Town
- 17.10.17 O2 Forum Kentish Town
- 18.10.17 O2 Academy Newcastle
- 19.10.17 O2 Academy Glasgow
- 20.10.17 O2 Academy Liverpool
- 21.10 17 O2 Academy Sheffield
Monsters is out on October 6th and can be pre-ordered on bandcamp for less than the price of a beer
Header image by Georgia Rawson