This month, we started the new year off with what you could say was a blast from the past. After a decade of being broken up, the Minneapolis-based three-piece rock band, The Soviet Machines came back on the scene strong. On January 8th Midwest punk label DC-Jam Records dropped the band’s self-titled debut album. It was produced by well-known Jack Endino, who has previously done the same for groups such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and The Afghan Whigs. They originally were started by high school friends singer/guitarist Jack Swagger and drummer Marcus Jones back in 2006. They released two independent albums after, then broke up in 2009. Last year the band got back together and gained the addition of vocalist/bassist Rich Salsbury, which helped them create some new material.
The album contains seven songs. The first is “Get Your Kicks”. This song begins with an electric guitar blazing and thumping drums to follow. The saying means to get enjoyment or the most out of it, and that’s pretty much the message behind this tune. “You Should Kill Me” is the next one and it doesn’t hold back its mature language. The last song spoke of doing the most before one possibly takes their own life, while this one doesn’t just mention death, but also suffering from intoxication. It uses words like “choke”, “piss”, and “pills” to really set the tone. Easily a pattern can be noticed, the song that follows falls into the same vain. “Baby We’re Gonna Die” again brings up the subject of dying as it tugs more on the theme of YOLO. The song sounds like to me that it’s about a couple that always fights and wants to drown their misfortunes away. “Two Shots (to the Back of the Head)” is probably a stand-in for the saying “a stab in the back”. This fourth song tells of a wretched past the singer might have had. We’ve all had that one or several people we wish we never became friends with, and that’s how one can relate to it. Sounds like the song’s explaining how the memories can keep resurfacing and that sometimes the only way to get rid of them is to let out, like the blast of a shotgun, maybe give in and possibly get back at them. That’s a bit extreme, but it runs in accordance with the genre that The Soviet Machines have created. The next song however reminds me almost of a Christian song. It’s more of just the use of words like “broken”, “ugly”, “sinners”, and “saints” that allows me to come to that conclusion. It still keeps its dark and rocking tone though, as it describes the more ugly parts of humanity. The song may also be referring to a negative past, but more of whether to have acceptance over it or not. The last two follow up with the first and third song, echoing the idea of living life to the fullest and partying hard. The message hits as hard as the beat of the instruments, it seems that perhaps each song is always trying to accomplish that.
The group stays within their genre, but still experiments a bit, either among the subjects they touch on or the different sounds they use. For a band that’s been gone for ten years, they sure haven’t forgotten how to rock. They hold nothing back, not being afraid of expressing themselves and making the most of what they have.
The LP is currently out digitally, and on 12” vinyl on February 12th.
“As the first album of 2021 that I’ve listened to, this one is gonna be so so very hard to beat. Rocks the f*ck out of your speakers! So be careful to warn the neighbours.” (5 stars)- The Punk Site
“The Soviet Machines’ vintage power trio approach is well suited for Endino, who captured many of the Seattle grunge scene’s legendary guitar bands. “Get Your Kicks” (is) an upbeat rocker with solid tone — mostly recorded live without overdubs.”- Consequence Of Sound
Author: Enrico Versace