The musical style of Machacek and eir band on [Sic] is something that can best be described as electric jazz. The disc starts off with the title track, and it feels like a classical jazz song, except for the little bit of electronic sound that creeps in at points. The compositions are more like short symphonies rather than pop tracks; there are a number of different movements in each track that show different moods and jams. There does not need to be lyrics or anything on the nine cuts of [Sic] because the guitars and drums provide a narrative structure that is as compelling as anything that could be captured with vocals. In fact, the largely instrumental sound of the title track far outstrips the fast paced vocals that are put in to Indian Girl (Meets Austrian Boy)”. There seems to be a lot less experimentation when the vocals are in play; it would be better to just shuck these vocal interludes and focus on the interplay between the members of Machacek’s band.
The band may not be able to get the minds and hearts of the younger generation, but there is a chance that an album like [Sic] might enjoy the crossover success of acts like Trans-Siberian Express. “Yellow Pages” is perhaps the most cross-over worthy; the interplay between the bass, drums, and guitars during the track really create a Don Henley, eighties type of sound that is familiar while still being experimentative and interesting throughout.
The track may be well over six minutes, but there are enough movements that individuals can stick with the track while not being bored at the least. Each of the tracks on [Sic] provide a completely different groove from the tracks that happen before and after. The inclusion of a number of different instruments, styles, and overall sounds makes this one of the most eclectic albums to be cut this year. Vocals are not needed, and when they are present, they actually make the tracks a little less impressive. I hope that Machacek can create more of these types of albums that experiment with time signatures and with arrangements more generally. There is little doubt in listeners’ minds that ey knows what ey is doing, but I just want to hear more from Machacek. There may only be seven people playing on this album, but the different approaches make it sound as if there are seventy.
Top Track: [Sic]
Alex Machacek – [Sic] / 2006 Abstract Logix / 9 Tracks / http://www.alexmachacek.com / http://www.abstractlogix.com / Reviewed 13 August 2006