Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Columbus sludge duo Reflex Machine after having my neck snapped in half by their set at Dirty Dungarees. Bassist James Garcia and drummer Alex Oakley gave me a lot to chew on during their interview, and promised me a dark and chaotic album with dystopian themes, with a heavy dose of atmosphere. Obviously, I was intrigued, and was equally thrilled when the boys asked me if I wanted to do a track premiere on Music In Motion Columbus.
Two weeks ago, the band premiered Faulty Apparatus, the first single and video from their upcoming album Interzone, dropping on September 6. Watch it HERE. It’s a wonderful song to introduce the band to the world with, but I was just as excited that the band chose Framed as their next single to be released.
Framed is another preposterously heavy track on an album that is guaranteed to throttle your ears. The song was recorded live in studio, giving it an even more frantic pace and grimy feel. The most curious thing about the song is that it’s still just being recorded by two musicians, despite the amount of sound that is blasting through at you.
Furthermore, that sound is coming from just a bass guitar and a drum. The band calls it a throwback to the “classic Reflex Machine” sound, as most of the upcoming record also features more experimental soundscapes. Framed is a straight-forward, pull-no-punches, rock your socks off kind of track that should keep your neck bobbing throughout.
Lyrically, the song builds around the album’s theme of paranoia, with a call-and-respond chorus and a tempo that sludges down as the song progresses, adding to the chaotic mind-fuck of sound. Garcia layers the chugga heavy on you, but also finds a way to reach into his bass and rip out shrieking sounds between the two verses. Meanwhile, Oakley lays down a barrage from the opening moments until the final crash of the cymbal. The song is recorded in a way that accentuates both musicians, so that neither is lost in the live mix.
It’s fast, it’s frantic, and I believe the band wrote it to fracture all of our minds. The song sounds like you locked New Keepers of the Water Towers in a room with Mastodon and forced them to create a sonic bastard child. There’s so much grease on it that you might have to take a shower after listening… or you could just listen again. That’s definitely what I did.
Without further ado, here is Framed by Reflex Machine.