In my ongoing quest to discover great new hard rock and heavy metal music, a regular practice of mine is trying new things. Sometimes chosen by the cover art, the name of the band, the band members, the producer or any other variety of criteria that strike my interest. Sometimes the album you’ve just chosen to bring forth out of obscurity is mediocre or even bloody awful, but every once and a while you come across a hidden gem with an album that rocks from start to finish. This was the case with Brand New Machine and The Devil Made Me Do It.
Brand New Machine began in 2009 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but the departure of two members prompted a relocation to Dallas, Texas. Founder and vocalist Brantly Thompson has been joined by Seven Antonopoulos on drums, Wiley E Oliver IV (anyone else immediately think of the coyote from Roadrunner?) on bass and Michael Thomas on guitar to form the current incarnation of this gritty rock band. Brand New Machine began to make a name for themselves playing shows with Lynch Mob and Faster Pussycat and appearing on Rockin’ The Red Carpet with Vince Neil and The War of Rock reality TV show with Slaughter. They also appeared with Guns and Roses opening shows for them in India. Following up on the self-titled EP from 2011, their first full-length record, The Devil Made Me Do It, dropped in July of 2013.
The album opens up with “Here I Am”, a fist-pumping high energy rocker, setting the tone of the album. I was hooked already, but the next track blew me away! “Girls Like You” is an anthem, dripping with sleaze, check out the video below. From there we get the album’s title track in “The Devil Made Me Do It”, keeping the tempo and pace of the record flowing along nicely. “Dust The Sky” delivers an infectious, radio-friendly, catchy chorus and would not surprise me to see it released as a single. “Here and Gone Today” tapers back on the fist-pumping anthems with a little bit of a softer sound, but still rocking all through. The softer pace is maintained through “Living For Another Day”, but the gritty rock ramps up again with “Always On The Run” leading us into the stellar “Blackout Overdose”. Another stand-out, fist pumping, anthem track is served up next with “Lettin It Roll“ followed by “What Do I Gotta Do”. Closing out the 35-minute roller coaster ride of rock thrills is “Let Me Go” leaving the listener on a high note, feeling a little like you just got your ass kicked! Self-described as straight up American hard rock, Brand New Machine‘s dirty, rough, gritty kind of gutter rock is just my style. I may have discovered this release a bit late, but “Here I Am” joining the party now! The Devil Made Me Do It is a “must-have” for all rock fans, trust me, you won’t be disappointed here.