This next band comes straight from my Twitter account. After sifting through the list of unsigned rock bands on the internet, I came across the band Machines Dream. Advertising their influences of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Marillion, King Crimson and Tool on their website, I immediately listened to their self-titled debut album “Machines Dream.” I have to say, they are dead on with their influences.
This five-piece from Ontario, Canada consists of Ken Coulter on drums, Brian Holmes on keyboards, Craig West on vocals/guitar/bass, Rob Coleman on lead guitar, and Jake Rendell as a supporting musician. One can hear the many influences of past and current rock bands in this album, which ranges in the many generations and styles of progressive rock. The sound is vast on this album, generating a different vibe on every song.
Coulter, Holmes, and West carry the rhythm well on their respective instruments from the first song on the album “Boundaries.” Using groovy bass sections and drum styles, they are able to carry the band towards their destination song after song. The bass line in “London By Night” is spot on, and takes authority on the song, while “Stop Waiting for Miracles” shows the drums at its finest. I love the keyboard solo halfway through the song “Colder Rain,” along with the its overall presence in the song “The Session.”
Besides the guitar and bass, West also contributes to “Machines Dream” with his great voice. Using simple yet colorful lyrics, one can imagine the scene he portrays. I almost hear great voices like Roger Waters, mixed with contemporary voices like Corey Taylor from Stone Sour and even Mark Tremonti from Alter Bridge in his voice. This familiarity is evident in the song “Unarmed at Sea,” which happens to be my favorite songs on this album. The power behind his voice is unleashed, and his passion moves the listener from the clean guitar in the intro, through the powerful chorus and bridge, back to the clean guitar in the outro. A terrific song all around.
My favorite thing about this album? Rob Coleman dominates on the lead guitar throughout “Machines Dream.” Reminiscent of David Gilmour from Pink Floyd or Steve Hackett of Genesis, Coleman applies many of the techniques from prominent guitarists flawlessly. Used to layer over the mainly clean rhythm sections, Coleman adds his flair and individuality to each song. Songs like “Toronto Skyline” flow in the direction of David Gilmour, while songs like “Locusts” lean towards a Pete Townshend style. The variety of sound that Coleman creates make the album an interesting experience, as the listener is constantly adjusting to the different styles.
“Machines Dream” is the essence of progressive rock. Using a variety of influences of multiple styles of progressive rock, this album is unpredictable, powerful, and raw. I recommend this album to those who listen to older progressive rock bands like Genesis, Marillion, and Pink Floyd, and to those who listen to contemporary rock bands like Tool. Please check out Machines Dream’s website, where you can download this album for free. That’s right, free!
Check out their Reverbnation page to hear some of their great songs!