Fingers Cut Megamachine - Color Tub (Cover Artwork)

Fingers Cut Megamachine

Color Tub (2004)

Aggravated Music

Fingers-Cut, Megamachine is the indie-folk act featuring former members of Osker. Color Tub is the first CD release from FCMM, but is not their long postponed first full length. Instead it is a ten-song collection of unreleased material and alternate versions of tracks found on the couple of 7 inches they have put out. While their releases up until this point have been consistently good, Color Tub has mixed results.

Some new songs like "I'm Ready," "Nothing Goes On," and "Left in the Bed," are well worth hearing. Each one takes FCMM's signature up-tempo drumming, soft, but driving acoustic, subtle lead lines, and passionate vocals to a new level by exhibiting ever more country and folk influences than before. It is clear that vocalist/guitarist Devon Williams is not just some punk kid with an acoustic, but a talented songwriter with something to say. The alternate version of "OKNO," a song from a split 7 inch with Kurt Vile, is also a great track. The new version takes an already well-crafted song and makes it more layered by adding harmonica and extra backing vocals. Unfortunately the rest of the release is not as impressive.

"Tap" is an almost four minute long lo-fi psychedelic mess full of electronic blips, a badly recorded acoustic guitar, and vocals that are sent to the back of the mix and doused in echo. The song, besides having a convincing melody, sounds like some stoners were screwing around with a four track. "Avenues" is a great song if you can ignore the first ten seconds when Devon, in an uncharacteristically whiny voice, sings the high school journal like line, "I got a letter in the mail it was from your parents/ When I started reading I started tearing."

The rest of the songs do nothing to stand out and suffer simply from the fact that this CD sounds like just what it is; a batch of songs thrown together to tide listeners over before the full length. Things become a little disjointed because of this, or maybe because of poor mastering. Some songs are filled with tape hiss like they were recorded on a stereo in a bedroom, some others have a poorly mixed studio tone, and some come out completely clear.

Underneath poor production and little structural problems there are good songs here. This is a band that has a ton of potential and a knack for writing beautiful songs, hopefully by the time their full length comes out FCMM will have worked out all these kinks.