Alternative music reviews

February 4, 2008

Mach Schau

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Mach SchauThe first Mach Schau EP was Demonstration One in 2005. The opening track Feel This Way was pretty standard punkish fare. But it was followed by Shoot The Blues with it’s lilting rhythmic guitar riff and poppy chorus. On she Said you get to hear a more raucous Mach Schau as they hurtle along at breakneck speed but full of variation with stops, starts, shouts, and an all out assault with guitars.

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She Said (clip)

By the time of the second EP, things are really coming together: there is urgency and energy but also a melodic edge to the songs that sets them apart from many in the punk/alternative arena. The Score Draw has so many words it’s almost impossible to fit them into the song. Someone has something to say and there’s a hell of a guitar track to back it up. But there’s no chance to relax as Number 28 and Vicious Circles pound away at your consciousness, This is a band that was meant to be seen live, but you could still feel the energy on record.

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Vicious Circles (clip)

Musically, Mach Scau were relentless alt-guitar rock but more besides. There’s often an emphasis on the offbeat – using it not in a Reggae way but to give everything a bit of swing. The final CD was Make Your Excuses and the title track takes Mach Schau into a more relaxed mode. The vocals and guitar introduce a more pop feel than previous releases and it works. This was the sort of track that could take a band into the world of Indie contenders – but this was already posthumous.

It was all over. Johnny MacIsaac had died . A short career with just three self-released EPs. There was clear development over the EPs and they were already gearing up to challenge This Et Al for the “breathless alternative rock” crown. It was a helter-skelter ride with a painful ending – but worth every minute.

The complete recorded works of Mach Schau are available on a CD. Treat yourself.

Mach Schau