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Demob Happy - Divine Machines

Demob Happy - Divine Machines

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Demob Happy - Divine Machines

Label: Liberator Music - LIB237LP - 9341004110625
Format: LP, Album, Black
Country: UK
Released: 26th May 2023
Genre: Alternative/Modern
Style: Alternative/Modern

From OK Computer to Screamadelica, history has shown that a band’s third album is when shit starts to get real. When, after an introductory debut and a second that tests new waters, the particular alchemy of a group stamps its personality in ways that no other configuration of individuals can do; when the outside voices have been tempered and all that’s left is a perfect cocktail of confidence, skill and momentum. It’s a theory that’s been proven time and time again, and one that Newcastle trio Demob Happy are underlining with Divine Machines: a third album that harnesses their delicate tightrope of heaviness and melody, sweetness and riffs, and rides it up to the stratosphere.

From the opening bars of ‘Token Appreciation Society’, that rev into gear on synthetic wobbles before finding their groove in a ‘70s sci-fi bass stomp flecked with falsetto backing vocal harmonies, Divine Machines feels like the album Demob Happy have always been destined to make. The cornerstone influences - a sprinkle of Queens of the Stone Age swagger; a splash of glam; a Lennon-like knack for melody - remain present, but utilised in ways that rely wholly on Matthew, Adam and Tom’s specific magic as a unit: one that values a “janky guitar solo” as much as it does a beautifully-crafted, unexpected love song.

Though, aesthetically, Divine Machines embraces a Bladerunner-esque sci-fi leaning, lyrically it finds the band swerving from the political corruption and modern world dystopias that they’ve previously detailed and yearning for something more hopeful, that starts from within. “I really see what’s happening to the human race as a moment in a hero’s journey. We’re at the point in the James Bond film where the villains reveal themselves and tell us the plan. We’ve got Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, these absolute supervillains with their rockets doing whatever the fuck they want, and software guru Bill Gates buying vast swathes of farmland for who knows what. They’re all revealing their plans to humanity and we’re all still going, ‘I hope they’re the good guys!’” begins the vocalist.

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