Rewind Review: Machine Head - The More Things Change
Machine Head may very well be one of the oddest bands in the history of metal music. over their 25 year plus career the band has managed to go from loved to hated back to loved and hated once again. Much of this can be attributed to the bands up and down release history but also frontman Robb Flynn’s outspoken nature which has often made fans of the band become disillusioned with his music. The album being discussed today, The More Things Change, came during the bands initial critical praise period, which encompassed their first two records before a questionable turn to the nu-metal craze for their following couple of records. The groups 1994 debut record Burn My Eyes is hailed as an all-time metal classic and still holds up to this day as well as any album from the 90’s. Following such a legendary debut is nearly impossible but Machine Head makes a valiant attempt on their 1997 sophomore record and comes closer than one would expect.
The record opens with what would become a staple song for the group, Ten Ton Hammer and it‘s crushing right off the bat. The track weaves between heavy riffs and a catchy chorus. Flynn’s cleaner singing is very underrated in my opinion. While I’d never accuse him of being a great lyricist, he delivers his vocals very well. A listen to Burn My Eyes and The More Things Change will instantly give you a taste of what a strong influence Machine Head has had on the current music scene. Right from the first few tracks you’ll instantly be astonished at what a pension for punishing riffs the band has.
Tracks like Take My Scars and Struck a Nerve are a bit lacking in the lyrical department but make up for it with a fun and energetic atmosphere with pummeling riffs. There’s so much groove packed in each and every song, this is the type of album meant to translate to a live audience and create movement. Machine Head has always been at their best when they rely on what they’re best at and that’s sitting on heavy grooves and shifting into thrashing riffs and the occasional breakdown, something we get plenty of on this album. The album rolls on with one of the best songs in the bands discography Bay of Pigs which is also perhaps their heaviest as well.
The More Things Change is a very satisfying listen. The band continues to cash in on what they excel at hear and as a Machine Head fan, that’s all you can really ask for from this group. Upon listening to this record you can clearly hear the influence Machine Head’s early work went on to have on many current bands like Code Orange for example. While the band has put out perhaps their worst record with their last release, it can’t diminish how great their top material is. Following Burn My Eyes was an impossible task but the band did a very respectable job. The More Things Change is much too item overlooked in the bands history. It’s truly a solid and heavy record. It gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from us.