Yorkshire upstarts ReVerbed have been extremely busy since their inception in 2010. This Machine, released last November, marks their fourth release, and an entry into the growing trend of the mini-album. It’s nine tracks of snarly, snotty punk with a few poppy twists, and there’s plenty of good stuff lurking in its midsts.
For a start, the fuzzy guitars and thrashy riffs present in ‘I Finally Wrote A Song (Fuck You)’ and ‘Uncommonwealth’ are plenty of fun. ‘Let Me Go’ has a bit of a power ballad feel to it, and when there just aren’t enough power ballads in the 21st Century, it’s about time we found a few on a punk record. ‘Shine A Light’ has one hell of a ballsy solo, and ‘A Nice Day In Hell’ treads briefly into murky dirgey hardcore territory to totally shake things up in the middle section. There’s a lot of highlights to be found, and you can really hear the joy that went into creating the record come through.
But ReVerbed just don’t go far enough, and as a result, the mini-album seems just shy of its real worth. The dual vocal approach between lead vocalist George and Zoe really needs to be explored more fully – when it works, it works brilliantly, like in ‘Let Me Go’, but there’s just not enough of it present. The political themes explored in ‘Uncommonwealth’ don’t feel totally realised and as a result, it’s nowhere near as effective as it should be. While most of the mini-album is tightly played and well-produced, there are a couple of sloppy riffs that wouldn’t even be noticeable in a live show, but on a recorded piece, jar and frustrate. And it is frustrating, because it’s obvious that these guys are better than that, and it means that parts of the record fall on the wrong side of unrefined.
This Machine might not be perfect, but it shows the great potential that ReVerbed have. Their consistent hard work and appetite for greatness will stand them in good stead, and This Machine is fully representative of that.
3 out of 5 high fives!