Los Angeles rock group, The Beta Machine, recently released their debut EP titled All This Time and it’s the glorious love child of Metric, The Cure and Lacuna Coil. Formed by bassist and vocalist Matt McJunkins and drummer Jeff Friedl who previously collaborated on such projects as APC, Puscifer, and Eagles of Death Metal. The Beta Machine is a five-man group with Claire Acey of Nightmare and the Cat on vocals with Nick Perez and Tommy Dill on guitars and keyboards.
All This Time is a five-song EP that blends smooth vocals, heavy bass and subtle guitar with sparse drums on every track to create something deep and resonant.
McJunkins and Acey combine their vocal skills to the sultry beats on all of their songs, but the combination is most captivating in their song, ‘Pictures’; a song that feels like a memory. It digs deep and tugs hard on the listener, both bitter and strangely rebellious, as it closes the song to the chopstick-plucking of a broken piano.
There isn’t really anything to not be impressed with about this EP. The music is interesting and creative and emotionally charged. The lyrics are clever and catchy, particularly ‘The End’ with the cooing chorus, “When the cold wind blows/ If it’s raining/ I will make you whole/ I will bring you home/ When the day is done/ I will bring you home”. It belongs on a playlist as the missing link between The Cure’s ‘Burn’ and Metric’s ‘Gold, Guns, Girls’.
‘Tower,’ featuring Carina Round, is a more piano-heavy, lounge-jazz beat that would fit as perfectly in a twenties speakeasy as a billboard chart or radio. With Rounds higher, sweeter vocals than Acey’s smoky alto, and more big band instrumentals than the other tracks on the EP.
‘Again and Again’ plays with an eighties, Eurhythmics vibe with a thirty-four second intro of synthetic keys and understated drums throughout.
The whole EP is full of rich imagery and silky, blended styles that show off an impressive range of tastes and influences and create a new sound all their own. Every song is well worth a listen and I’m excited for the release of their first major album and all that will surely follow.