Monday in London - The Red Machine (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Monday in London

The Red Machine (2003)


Depressingly downbeat, yet uptempo indie rock and/or roll from the Carolinas, Monday in London's Red Machine is fairly anguish-filled and scattered with soft melodies at the same time. They do just enough to keep things interesting and motivating for most of the disc.

Wavery vocals occasionally rise to almost-falsetto levels, but no where near enough to elicit Geddy Lee impersonations. The spacey feel of the album is definitely in the vein of Coheed and Cambria, though, like with the small scattering of odd screaming paired with mercurial vocal lines. The opener "Smart Bomb" uses this with the pre-chorus hook, with the yell of "reverse! reverse!," or the chorus line of "LONG LIVE THE TRAITOR!" in that line's particularly catchy song. It's a style of yelling that is all too similar to the ragged ones used in At the Drive-In's Relationship of Command.

There's some assuredly-tight percussion and guitars that flip-flop between rugged riffing and high-strung notes that set the backdrop. The latter is represented well in "Long Live the Traitor," which begins with elevated whispers, creating a pseudo-Joy Division vibe. The soft versions of both are in "End of the Line," one of the slightly more relaxed tunes that I wouldn't be surprised to hear on some random college radio station.

The Red Machine is relatively experimental enough without losing the main, darkly rocking focus, but missing a certain captivation that would otherwise make it a great full-length.

"Canary in a Coalmine"