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Slave to the Machine

Fourth album from the Birmingham Alabama pop rockers, sees them progress from the excellent 2004 ‘Life in Reverse’. Lead vocalist and main songwriter Jacob Lynam retains his undeniable ear for melody from his Mars Electric days, whilst adding a tougher guitar edge. 3 songs are retained from ‘Life In Reverse’; the superb ‘Tanis’ and the ballads ‘By Your Side’ and ‘Letting Go’.
Tying in 1980’s approved layered harmony vocals, thumping riffs and guitar solo’s from the same era with a modern edge proves a winning formula on the Bon Jovi romp of the title track, opener ‘It’s All In Your Head’ and the melodic ‘Sister Babylon’. Jacob Lynam reminds us throughout that he has an undeniable knack for writing accessible songs that transcend the rock genres. The up-tempo punk inspired ‘I Hate My Generation’ contrasts with the perfect pop of ‘Losing Venus’-a throwback to the type of high quality songs that littered the Mars Electric debut album. A clue as to the Lynam ethos can be garnered from the anti-anthem ‘Giving Up On Rock and Roll’ with its many references to the rock genres, the bands and their songs from a bygone era that is largely ignored by ignorant disc jockeys. Lines like “where are you Mr Pyromania in the still of the night” and “Oh my god look what the cat dragged in but still we reach for the sky” typify a band that wear their hearts and influences proudly on their sleeves. Couple this appreciation of different rock genres with the undoubted genius of Jacob Lynam’s song-writing and you have one of the outstanding albums of 2006.


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