Fingers Cut Megamachine - Fingers Cut Megamachine (Cover Artwork)

Fingers Cut Megamachine

Fingers Cut Megamachine (2005)


After a couple releases, numerous postponements, and a label switch, the debut full-length from Fingers Cut Megamachine has finally arrived. Luckily, this batch of eleven songs (13 if you count the two hidden tracks) was well worth the wait.

Devon Williams' songwriting ability has always been impressive and this album is no exception. Here Williams has crafted an intimate and comforting mix of folk, country, and indie pop. The songs have a relaxed and beautiful feel, but at the same time are delivered with an undeniable fervor. Williams is able to take an older man's world-weary tone and inject it with his own youthful urgency. On this album the band handles everything from Simon Joyner-inspired fare, ("Do You Hear Wedding Bells?") to driving acoustic pop, ("Recovery," "Backseat") country twang, ("Rough Dreams") and traditional folk ("Open Up the Yellow Cross," "Release Me").

If his two albums with Osker were any indicator, Williams's lyrics only get better with each of his releases, and FCMM sees him upping the ante yet again. Williams succeeds lyrically because, while he is poetic, he never gets too abstract or verbose. These are not pretentious indie lyrics that take a dictionary, knowledge of arcane pop culture references, or a degree in English to decipher; instead, the songs lead the listener through a set of detailed vignettes that are easy to understand, yet still maintain depth. Lines like the ones from the album's opener, "Waist deep / hands on the water / a little boy is wading / just laugh it off," show Williams's ability to paint a scene, while lines like, "Weighted like a feather / and all the time will lapse / If you won't answer / I won't go looking," show his capacity for explaining internal conflicts without succumbing to emo's mock tear pitfalls.

My only complaint about this album is the lack of material after such a long wait. While there are eleven songs here, three of them ("Rough Dreams," "Orange Barrel" and "Release Me") have been on the band's site for months, while another two ("Testament" and "Laughs Per Minute") have appeared in different forms on previous releases. Still, that isn't enough to hinder an amazing album.