Album Review :
The Less - Loud Machines

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Artist: The Less
Album: Loud Machines
Label: N/A
Release Date: June 24, 2007
Reviewer: Scott L

1. Attention
2. A Bigger Something
3. Say
4. Loud Machines
5. Live Again
6. All That I’m Not
7. Let It Go
8. Where You Want To Be
9. Dependence
10. Hey There

I have to admit that I sorta struggled with this review. Not over style. Not over quality. Not even over whether or not I liked these guys. I struggled with the use of the saying, ‘less is more’. First off, because I’ve always thought it was like one of the goofiest sayings I’d ever heard. Secondly, because I’m not really sure what the heck it’s supposed to mean. But in the context of this review it just might work for me. If it means The Less is more pleasing to the ear than many of the bands I’ve heard lately… or that The Less is more of the melodic alt-rock that I’ve come to enjoy over the last several years… or maybe that The Less is more lyrically inspiring than a lot of the cookie-cutter “Dude, what rhymes with rockin’?” bands saturating the market these days… then, yeah, The Less is more. Way more.

Released in June 2007, this 5-piece from Georgia has a sound that mixes equal parts passion, inspiration, adrenalin, and talent. The songs are great from start to finish; well structured and adeptly mixed. Maybe not terribly original sounding, but what they do, they do well. The singer has a nice crisp voice, at times reminding me a little bit of Thousand Foot Krutch as far as range and resonance. Loud Machines has a good balance between clean and crunchy guitars. A little more low end would have beefed things up a bit and filled in some of the cracks since the bass tends to get lost at times. The drums have a really nice tight sound though. You’ll also find a generous amount of piano and even a little bit of… wait for it… violin. Or maybe that’s a cello. Ever since I was forced to sit through Fiddler on the Roof as a kid, I’ve steered clear of instruments played with bows. But don’t let the violin-thing scare you, the track, “All That I’m Not”, is actually a very well-crafted ballad.

Stylistically, The Less play radio-friendly alt-rock that would fit in well with the likes of Making April, Terminal, Valencia, Holiday Parade, or even The Fold (circa This Too Shall Pass). Maybe not quite so pop-oriented as some of these bands, but none-the-less (you like that?) just as accessible.

The stand out tracks for me were “Let It Go”, “Attention”, and the title track, “Loud Machines”. Lyrically, The Less is all about encouraging their listeners. Their lyrics are well put together and tend to provoke thought rather than kicking in the door by overstating the obvious. Personally, I appreciate a band that’s not afraid to give the reason for the hope and encouragement they sing about. And while they never name names, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what, or rather who, they’re talking about. Take the song “Dependence” for example:

“A little lower than the angels
A little lower than the heavens
You set me free
You came to give me comfort
And You’re leading me home
And I feel so at home.”

One of my only real complaints is that the CD is over way to quickly. At ten tracks and lasting a total of about 35 minutes, everything is pretty much industry standard… it just seems to fly by. But maybe that’s just me. Anyway, disruption of the time space continuum aside, this is definitely an album worth checking out. And from what I’ve heard of their new stuff… the future looks hopeful for more of The Less.

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