Elsewhere, Curtis’s preoccupations seem to be of a religious bent. In Last Believer, Drop Dead, which rocks like the proverbial bastard, he sings in the chorus, “Look a little bit further down, who’s that man wearing the thorny crown?” before ruminating, “I wonder what he’ll do, when all his believers have dropped dead”. It’s powerful stuff, picked up immediately by Have I Run Out, the galloping drums leading to talk of the “writing on the wall”.
All very prog rock of course, but the Secret Machines don’t indulge in empty guitar solos or lyrical guff, though some of their thoughts verge on the fantastical. No, this is more �red meat rock’, with the euphoria of an unexpected key change or the inexorable rush of their guitar sound providing copious amounts of energy, backed up by the thundering drums of Josh Garza, who still manages to play within himself when required.
It may not contain anything as seismic as First Wave Intact, from their debut Now Here Is Nowhere, but the band’s self-titled third album reasserts the Secret Machines identity whilst revealing a fragile underbelly. There is an element of treading water, it’s true, but not too much to hope their next record will see them moving on more stylistically. For now, though, this is still one of the best rock albums you’ll hear all year.