Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Machine Gun Funk ~ Homeland Obscurity (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website)
Style: heavy metal, thrash, hardcore, doom metal
Label: self-released
Year: 2011
Home: Florida

Members: Jared Kimble~ vocals
Jesse Jones, Kaelen Doughty ~ guitars
Mike Dusek ~ bass
Brandon Graham ~ drums



Drawing from Rage Against The Machine, Lamb Of God & Gojira, Florida headbangers MGF pour out thick distorted hardcore & thrash influenced riffs against a powerful rhythm section with growled/spoken lyrics of being caged by the government & facing the somewhat downward movement of society but with a slightly spiritual feeling ... that is, working against the decay of society isn't just a social rescue movement but a spiritual one as when one thing happens then "the body is saved", as is sung in "Caged". Like their influences vocals move between spoken-sung/growled-screamed, but not to the point of being unintelligible, which is a problem I often write about with bands of this genre. Bands have a message but make it difficult for anyone to get & thus defeat their purpose. Not the case with MGF. Frontman Jared Kimble turns in some technically controlled growling, notes are held long & lyrics are understandable, that helps give MGF that little extra push, at least for my listening preferences. Though, things get a little wild with some extreme singing on the title track, also the heaviest track. Of course, not everyone likes this style of singing, decipherable or not. While writing this review my father passed by & heard a minute & said the singer sounds like he's dying. It's a one word review too good not to share from the parental source. While behind our dying vocalist the two guitar & bass attack offers up a thick wall of sound where the two often become one enormous sound that at times flows like sludge metal (for example, "Caged"), though there is the occasional traditional guitar solo but it's kept to a minimum on the EP (i.e. "Quickening"). "Fires Of Tragedy" features an interesting twist on the guitar solo sound as the melody line is composed of both low-end riffing & high necked more lead-like riffs, with both guitars echoing each other for an interesting fuller sound for something that is neither a traditional rhythm nor lead. Drummer Brandon Graham deserves mention, who could be brought up in the mix & given more of a low-end though the bass does help, as he creatively weaves between traditional double bass lines with a variety of non-traditional patterns. I've always been bored by metal drumming that consists solely of double bass, as its almost like that's the only part of the drum worth playing & becomes more distracting than interesting. While not every guitar riff sounds better over a double bass drum pattern. Check out "Quickening" as its a drum tour-de-force & also the standout bass track, as bassist Miek Dusek finds a comfortable space between both the guitars & drums. "Quickening" includes fast double bass patterns, yet the rest of kit is given a major workout as the drum line moves fast from a focus on toms/snare to nearly cymbal only moments that is reminiscent of Megadeth, a band where the drums do anything but play a steady rhythm but actually echo the melody line. Named after a Notorious B.I.G. song this tight little MGF was formed in 2008 & recorded a five song demo in 2009, later playing around the Gulf states. In 2010 came their first formal single with the must hear "Anticipation" , with the recording of this four song EP following the next year. They've gained a reputation in the Florida underground metal community partly tapping into the hip-hop community. After the recording of this album guitarist Doughty was replaced with Sam Gibbs. Well worth checking out.

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