Crack The Sky - "Machine" CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crack The Sky - "Machine" CD Review

DOWNLOAD: Crack The Sky - Machine Demos (Authorized Bootleg)

Crack The Sky - 'Machine' CD ReviewGrowing up in Baltimore in the late 70s/early 80s, Crack The Sky was one of the biggest bands in town and always seemed on the verge of breaking out. The band toured with numerous established acts (like Yes, ELO, Frank Zappa, Styx, etc.) and routinely sold-out 1,000+ capacity venues in Baltimore so everyone believed that the band's brand of thinking man's prog rock would reach a universal audience. Crack the Sky's debut LP was released in 1975 and Rolling Stone magazine called it the "debut album of the year" and now, in the 35th year of their career, Crack the Sky have released their fourteenth studio album Machine.

Machine follows 2008's The Sale and, like recent Crack the Sky albums, continues with the band's Pink Floyd meets Steely Dan sound. The arrangements are lush and epic and band leader/songwriter John Palumbo's lyrics have all the cynicism and bite of a Steely Dan song. Lyrically, Machine is a concept album about machines taking over at the end of the Mayan Calendar (12/21/12) and mankind's slow slide to their inevitable doom. In an interview with RAYSREALM, John Palumbo compares The Sale to Machine by saying "The Sale is a task to listen to. I realized that after trying to listen to it. I got carried away. I consider it more of a novel than a record. The new Cd, MACHINE, now in the hands of Ricky and Bobby, is even darker. The Sale ended with some hope, MACHINE does not. Cheery, huh?"

Crack the Sky's music has aged well over the years and Machine is a worthy addition to collection of any prog-rock fan. Throughout my college years, mentions of Crack the Sky always drew blank looks so I was looking on YouTube for a video to embed that will showcase the band's sound. These days, Crack the Sky doesn't play live too often so it isn't surprising that there aren't any live videos from Machine posted. For anyone whose curiosity is piqued, a good starting point would be to download the demos from Machine (free download - link is at the top of this post) and check out the live video of the song "Ice" (which is from CTS' debut disc).

Crack The Sky