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Machine Fish

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Album Review

After the critical and commercial thrashing bestowed upon their disappointing second album, Houston's Galactic Cowboys were abruptly dropped by DGC Records. They also then parted company with their management, fired their guitarist, and eventually signed with independent Metal Blade Records for 1995's Machine Fish. Though the album shows a vast improvement, it can hardly be termed a return to form, seeing as the band's sound was drastically altered. Their once characteristic Beatlesque vocal harmonies, pompous prog-metal aspirations, and textured guitar symphonies are virtually abandoned, replaced by a more conventional heavy metal approach and an aggressive (read "screaming") vocal style. Inventive songwriting facilitates this transition on standouts such as "Feel the Rage," "Stress," and the ironic "Pattin' Yourself on the Back." The group also resurrects some chorused vocals for the equally impressive "Psychotic Companion," "The Lens," and "In a Lonely Room." They save the best for last, closing with the piano-driven and wonderfully melancholy "Arrow."

Customer Reviews

GC shining through at their heaviest

GC had a new lease on life in 1996: a new label, new promotion, a chance to grow their fanbase beyond the prog-heads they earned touring with King's X and Dream Theater, and the tantalizing potential of mainstream success. They responded with a straight-up metal album, going light on their trademark vocal harmonies and amping up the tempo and the "CLANG." The result is a good record, though less distinctive of the band and more easily lost in the morass of late-'90s post-metal. Highlights are where they stay true to their strengths: Fear Not, Psychotic Companion, Red Sun, Lens, 9th of June, and Arrow. Alas, Metal Blade's promotional efforts bore little fruit.

a turn in the right direction for these cowboys

the itunes bio for the album goes into the details of the changes the band went thru for this album. i liked the old cowboys as well, but this is the album i listen to the most. do give it a try - perhaps you will relish it as much as i do.


I've been a fan of this band since... well... a long time ago. This album is by far my favorite that they put out. They, at times, get a little off track and throw some not so stellar slower songs but they quickly get back on the horse and start shredding. To this day "The Struggle" is one of my favorite tunes. Awesome.


Formed: 1989

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Bassist Monty Colvin and drummer Alan Doss first played together in Houston in a band called the Awful Truth. When it split up, Colvin and Doss recruited vocalist Ben Huggins and guitarist Dane Sonnier to form Galactic Cowboys. Signed soon after by DGC, the metallic rock combo released a self-titled debut in 1991 and Space in Your Face two years later. Following the release of Space in Your Face, the group was dropped by DGC and Wally Farkas replaced Sonnier (who formed the Sonnier Brothers Band)....
Full Bio
Machine Fish, Galactic Cowboys
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings