Beginning with their debut EP, September 000, in 2002, Secret Machines have always felt like they operated on a different plane of existence than other bands rummaging through similar musical territory. From the band’s earliest days, their ability to meld prog, pop, and indie rock into a viable form of creative expression, and not simply some vague exploration of influence, allowed them to both embrace and deconstruct a vast swathe of their inspirations.
Often describing their sound as space rock, the band looked toward open-ended sonic landscapes and far-reaching rhythmic territories where their music was allowed to bloom and wander without restriction. Records like Now Here is Nowhere and Ten Silver Drops gave them the room to explore the intersections of various genres, discovering unique ways to mold their songs without laying an allegiance to any particular musical lineage.
Current members Brandon Curtis and Josh Garza — the only original remaining members since the passing of original guitarist Benjamin Curtis and the departure of his replacement Phil Karnats — found themselves drifting apart after the release of their 2008 self-titled record.
“Josh moved to LA, and I got hired to be Interpol’s keyboardist,” recalls Curtis. “I started touring, and Secret Machines just got further on the back-burner. Without ever really talking about it, we both just went our separate ways.” But there is still a vitality and creative drive in the band, as they recently shared a double EP featuring a reissue of their 2008 Dreaming of Dreaming EP and a short collection of new songs called Day 21. Curtis continues: “It feels totally natural and organic that Josh and I are working together again.”
Today, they’re announcing a digital reissue of their 2008 self-titled record, which has been resequenced and remastered courtesy of Simon Scott (Slowdive). Due out September 23 via TMS Recordings, it acts as bridge from that time in their life to where they are today. “I’m excited to release this collection of songs as I feel it connects some of the dots between where we were and where we are going,” explains Curtis.
For out first glimpse into this reimagined offering, the band has shared a revamped version of “The Fire is Waiting,” now opening the album where it once closed it out on the original release. Featuring Tony Visconti on recorder, this track is still every bit the beast it was when it first came out. Sludgy guitars stomp and roar, while rumbling percussion threatens to tear away the skin and muscle from your bones. A doom metal track in prog clothing, it’s loud and volatile and harnesses a ferocious energy few bands could hope to contain. Prepare to lose yourself within its mesmerizing thunder all over again.
“When we recorded the demo for this song, everyone told us it was too long,” explains Curtis. “We decided it wasn’t long enough. Sometimes you wait for the fire. Sometimes the fire waits for you.”