Secret Machines

The Moth, The Lizard & The Secret Machines

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Much like a frantic movie about "unfinished business" or "the one that got away," Secret Machines spent the past few years finally putting the finishing touches on what should have been their fourth LP. Long regarded as a lost album, The Moth, The Lizard and the Secret Machines was actually put on pause in 2010 and massaged in the aftermath of 2020's return-to-form record Awake in the Brain Chamber. This essentially makes it the missing link between that effort's brash pop songs and 2008's sorely overlooked self-titled LP.

"If you listen to them in order," says singer/multi-instrumentalist Brandon Curtis, "Awake in the Brain Chamber is basically a reaction to the Moth record - very tight and verse/chorus/verse/chorus rather than loose, sprawling and unconventional."

One key reference point of the Moth sessions was something Garza and Curtis bonded over back in their early days: the Buddhist philosophy of "first thought, best thought." A guiding principle of everyone from Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to downtown icon Arthur Russell, it's the idea that you're better off cutting riffs, beats and chords straight to tape than arranging or composing anything concrete beforehand. In other words, it's music made of fleeting moments and memories rather than rearranged verses and melodies - about as pure as a creative endeavor can be. Their long-awaited fourth LP is full of winding ear worms and hummable hooks, from its fearless, thunderstruck opener ("There's No Starting Over") and the Fripp & Eno-esque outro of "Crucifixion Time" to the broken-hearted balladry of "Run Out the Silver Light" and the sombre instrumental sequence that is "Last One Out."


1. There's No Starting Over
2. I Think It's Light Outside
3. You Want It Worse
4. Even Out The Overflow
5. Last One Out
6. The Answer
7. Crucifixion Time
8. Run Out The Silver Light
9. The Finalizer

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