Saturday, 1 October 2011
Review: The American Freedom Machine
The American Freedom Machine - Home, The Road, Family and Friends (Independent)
Conceived as a straight-up, honest-to-goodness bar band, The American Freedom Machine have now been together for six years, with three albums under their collective belts. Their latest “Home, The Road, Family and Friends” was recorded in a farmhouse on a mobile 16-track unit straight onto analogue tape. It’s the sort of thing that should be compulsory for all bands of the Americana persuasion but, alas, most only make it into their local digital studio emporium, where the lights shine brighter, the bills come cheaper, but maybe something’s lost in the sound – ask Neil Young.
This album, a collection of warm-blooded originals, finds The American Freedom Machine plying their brand of indie-stringband country music with their usual panache. The four musicians (five, in some pictures) play ten instruments between them, including brass, banjo, pedal steel, and a stand-up bass made from an old cardboard box. They’re not afraid to mix a bit of humour into their songs (“Big Ol’ Country Girl”) but it’s just as likely to turn into pathos (“The Drunken Painter”). Fans of Freakwater and Low Anthem will find much here to like, and should investigate pronto. It certainly won’t do any harm.