Gettin' Personial

by Clinton Machine

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Review, KZSU 90.1 Stanford, CA

"Album Review
Your Imaginary Friend
Reviewed 2010-11-12
Noise rock, sludgy at times, rocking, dissonant, upbeat. Low fi fun, blissful, not too serious. Distorto buried male vocals, desperate guitars, pounding drums. Elements of grunge even. Sounds like: Swans as a Nirvana tribute band with members of Sonic Youth and The Swirlies using Neutral Milk Hotel’s equipment but The Melvin’s amplifiers, and everyone is just about to OD on heroin, including the audience. Capice?

No FCCs. Every fucking track is a masterpiece.

1) starts off innocent with low fi acoustic strumming but then implodes into a huge dissonant Swans meets Swirlies meets Neutral Milk Hotel upbeat bent rock
2) big sick rock, sounds slowed, perfection
3) slower plodding, with arpeggio/looping licks, fuzzed out blessed out vocals, hola mackerel!
4) head nodding dissonance, killer noise guitar, man!
5) messy guitar with tambourine, rockin
6) sludgey with weird meter, strange messy, ends cold
7) slower, strummy feel, dissonance remains, less balls to the wall
8) slow heavy wall of near drone heavy rock, narco bliss rock
9) guitar, distorted, sounds like the guy laying on his back on his couch, with the lights off, meditating and grooving on one chord/tone, totally low fi with volume fluctuations, a crappy cord shorting out, totally stoned"

Review, Weird Canada

"From the masonic heavy of Aaron Levin:
Inexplicably gnarly wall-of-soundgarden fringe-freak explosion. Clinton Machine pushes you through a vortex of bludgeoned 90s metal-zone, burnt politics, and low-end attitude that will confound and bewilder, careening your understanding of the sanctity of modern living. Gettin’ Personial is the audible collection of bedroom nightmares conjured by distant uncles lurking in every basement apartment below you. Listen with caution. Beautifull tri-color silk-screen cover. GRIPPETH!"

Review, Foxy Digitalis

"January 6, 2011 By Travis Bird
Canadian Blake Hargreaves has been involved in a number of notable projects over the past several years, including Jim Slay, Dreamcatcher, Thames, and Cousins of Reggae. All of these have crisscrossed the underground world, with challenging releases exploring skuzzy electro, noise, and even guitar-and-drum blues noise. So, even though this is a rock record, his debut as Clinton Machine may be seen as a sort of coming out of the woods, a surprising turn that successfully captures even more aspects of his musical personality.
For those most familiar with Hargreaves, the acoustic guitar that opens the album on “Thing 2” will sound extra bizarre, and the feeling may continue even after the tune bursts into a stomping groove full of the fuzzed-out walls of guitars and thick drums that are typical of the rest of the album. But it will fade, yielding to an undeniably solid set of rock tunes. With riffing and tempo inspired by the rougher aspects of grunge and the lo-fi Guided By Voices vein, the “backing band” (apparently actually all Hargreaves himself) captures the sneering heave and aggression of Nirvana or even at times the bluesy glam of (as the exalting press release claims) a band like T. Rex in a concoction of genre that Hargreaves refers to as “smoke.”
All of this is stretched and warped in what is an increasingly common manner—the obliteration of vocal as lead instrument, instead being used as a textural one. This focus on voice over lyric fulfills the voice’s role as a musical instrument—the connection in the song only based on the dynamics of the band as a whole—and the vocals may only serve as a marker of time, like a drum fill, to signal the passage or beginning of a section. In some situations, especially in the chillwave corner of the bedroom synth-pop slumber party, this vocal strategy can be to be the only mark of the nowing of the sound—the rest of the instrumentation and arrangements marking songs that weren’t written in the ‘80s only by coincidence.
And indeed, as seems to be the style nowadays, Hargreaves wails, mumbles, and barks over the grooves, with hardly an understandable line. But with their diverse rock touchstones, the quality of the Clinton Machine tunes makes them work the vast majority of the time. “Gemini” is an upbeat rocker reminiscent of Weezer, with a gutturally atonal guitar solo that could stand with any U.S. Maple record. The truncated “What” finds Hargreaves unleashing pretty good Black Francis shrieking, and “Sun Dog” features a great chord progression that juxtaposes guitar changes against static basslines.
The most puzzling aspect is without a doubt the final track, “The Cat’s Meow,” a ten-minute solo guitar jaunt that might be described by some as a “freakout,” but really plays more as a kind of wandering around with a guitar, a non-narrative dirge that isn’t compelling texturally or otherwise. I’m tempted to say that this was placed here for one of two reasons—either to make the album longer, or to remind the listener of Hargreaves’ origins as a more experimental musician, which it would do in a rather unflattering way if this is the case. Either way, the track seems like an afterthought, the only blemish on what is an exciting new direction for a very dynamic artist.
Inyrdisk / Fluorescent Friends


released September 15, 2010


tags: pop Montréal


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Clinton Machine Montréal, Québec

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Track Name: Thing2
Thing 2
Dial the shoots seal any waste to eat hide
I can’t see this as trying at virtue
I meal a skull on her face, I can’t say this once
To that started too weak

I wish your end of it some things
I wish you edited our churn
I miss you edit it’s an accent now,
Where you wait now

Waiting for the city of faith in race’s rushes
I can’t see what is starting to reach you
We could love your soul reversed you on the phone
With Joshua coming in time
Track Name: Good News
Good News

Time to rate you wide eyed lie
What I waited since their place
I will always white eye left to you
Renovate my lace to guage
Hole my wist of all bells
Over the crust I lust this
I wouldn’t wear me home what sense
I get and evince my wist no fly
I want to face it
Save or complain my lane so free
I winch install my lift line
Over the ocean I washed you

My winch is inside you, I wrote you a note
I came well inside you, caught in the crutch
I’m made in an out side, I want to mutt
I can’t enter suicides, I warrant too much
So I stare at the sun and I swallow my gum
Your cunt will see, we’re swimming in dead leaves
I saw it for myself it’s the picture of health
Collect the cold, watch your memories unfold
A turncoat on my gum, pulled a head on his noose
And she with the secrets of fate
Protecting the drugs from the viciousest of thugs
Track Name: Grate Expectations
Grate Expectations aka Adopted

Was I not insane
I was to reach you
A work of once you played
I would you want you want to play
I watch you once you take
So get it on I sit so much
I hope to mince my fate
If I, once to win some
To pay back to reason my wish to haze
What’s to unfaith the cull they ring up
What’s to you faith? I watch you take
I watch you hate to my only way
At once you haste to play me back at your home

Last day you’re to get some of me
My arms strayed, a sigh light wants to run cree
I’m pooling so my what’s do reverse
Tow what’s to become when you fry
Track Name: Gemini

Galaxies all that you tear up
All I can describe
I mean it all I want to wait
For lever call my pride
Innate it all I watch you
What I can’t do is solve what you prayed
I never get to ends you sold all
Changes up that I can’t braid
Finally we’re open to another set of law
I guess I’ll never see my ancestors withdraw
My weakness neverending
I cannot phase the end this way
We’ll never get to rending but I
Think it’s you, renounce my grave

Now there’s snow it never gives
The common take by god
I’ll bet you embassies
And gnaw list gets my craw
I needen’t ever rescue what I guess you case my left to pray
I never had to ask you what I’ll educate my legs to break
Track Name: Songula

Welcome to the dollar’s aid its look in my mind
Pull in the look then I wait till you die
Science say that uptitude is swells in my mind
Witches are another love my heart could invite
I don’t know what is starting you down
Polling your heart and entering your love
Shaping your hutch the woodsmen of love
Hand on your crutch when victims subside

Voluntary record keeping leaves me a skate
Teachers are rich when their mind’s not afraid
Heaven’s desperate energy falling that way
Artists trace us when we want and not when we pay
Heaven supplied the burdens of love
Over the hook it’s not what you think it was
So many ropes are tying you down
All went to luff, to tell in you that sound

Out of the oasis all in a day
My witch appears I can’t even steer
What’s your faith, what’s your game
And what’s your name? ain’t it a shame
Follow the crime and now I’m doing your time
I’m holding the book, let’s take a look
My heavens sate I bare my fate
I’m still up late
Track Name: Sun Dog
Sun Dog
I take a run I straddle the sun
It’s soulless to me and mine
Iraq’s insides are coming in line
And it’s truth that I want to get done

Save yourself from the scepter of hell
Impeach your listener’s time
The truth so nice, I can excise
These wishes that I couldn’t fine

Peace of us, my mission your birth
I terrorize, ritualize
Your craze on, my gun is along
I face in the snake of Iraq

To reach off who we suss
To how we were done
You peace is all that you mine
I hate to breed I don’t want to recede
I can’t insane at all that you’re mine

You’re rich, you seldom mind
You explain perforce that you cave
I’m set off there colourless days an
And I reach for the chalk
My mitts took off and I leapt sea late
Conscious of my cage