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Music for Parents

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Album Review

The second album by Cleveland quirk-rockers Machine Go Boom ratchets down the manic, overcaffeinated vibe of 2004's Thank You Captain Obvious. Singer, songwriter, and all around figurehead Mikey Machine still spits out more musical ideas than the rest of the band are able to use, but when all the parts are in sync, there are some exceptionally appealing ramshackle pop songs here. "Circle of Dirt" is the clear highlight, sounding uncannily like the great lost Guided by Voices outtake circa Alien Lanes, although the playfully catchy "M.I.A." and the wired noise-punk blast of "Quarantined" are equally appealing in their own way. Those who prefer their indie rockers to have one sound and stick with it will hate the musical whiplash that results from segues like the garage-rocky, organ-driven "Elmer's Glue" into the falsetto-voiced Television Personalities-like twee pop of "Uh-Oh" into the spacy, hazy, lo-fi vibe of the closing "Lazy Weekend," but unlike the even more fractured debut, Music for Parents does actually sound like the work of one eclectic band more than some kind of strange, ill-plotted mixtape.


Formed: Cleveland, OH

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Cleveland indie rockers Machine Go Boom are primarily a vehicle for the eclectic singer/songwriter Mikey Machine, who had started a solo career with a self-titled 2001 album before forming the band with lead guitarist Mike Uva, keyboardist Carrie Bukala, bassist Brian "Bubbles" O'Connor, and drummer Arran Biggart. The first Machine Go Boom album, Thank You Captain Obvious, was released by the Collectible Escalators label in 2004, featuring a quirky fusion of elements ranging from Pavement, Guided...
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Music for Parents, Machine Go Boom
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