Immaculate Machine : High On Jackson Hill

<img src="" alt=" " />Newer isn't always better, but Immaculate Machine keeps bringing out fine indie-pop. ...
7.4 Mint

Immaculate Machine : High On Jackson HillWestern Canadian indie-pop got a real strong addition in 2007 with Immaculate Machine’s Fables (QRO review), a record that deftly employed both catch and harmony.  But recently, the group has had some major personnel changes, drummer Luke Kozlowski leaving the trio of him with singer/guitar Brooke Gallupe and singer/keyboardist Kathryn Calder (also of her uncle A.C. Newman’s New Pornographers – QRO live review), and was replaced on skins by Aden Collinge.  What’s more, the trio flat-out expanded, bringing in Brooke’s sister Caitlin Gallupe on bass, and adding a second guitarist in Jordan Minkoff.  All the changes, plus Calder not appearing with them on their most recent tour (including SXSW – QRO photos), even Brooke growing out his hair, it all threatened to produce a very different band.  But High On Jackson Hill continues the group’s solid indie-pop, albeit not as outright wonderfully as Fables.

Immaculate Machine don’t just traffic in indie-catch, but also use harmony and even beauty, something deployed heavily on Jackson Hill.  Whether relaxed like “Thank Me Later” or “He’s a Biter”, big & poppy like “Primary Colours”, “Neighbors Don’t Mind” or “Only Love You For Your Car”, alt-garage like “Don’t Build the Bridge” or “Sound the Alarms”, or a sad, high, loss like “You Destroyer”, “I Know It’s Not As Easy”, “And It Was”, or “Blurry Days”, the band’s melody is fine.  Unfortunately, that somewhat leads them away from what they did best on Fables; a little thin when they’re having fun, a little overwrought when they’re not.

But comparing High On Jackson Hill to Fables is a bit unfair, given the latter’s breakthrough excellence.  After a less-than-stellar SXSW (QRO Day Two recap), it’s just nice to know Immaculate Machine is still greased and operational.

MP3 Stream: "Only Love You For Your Car"

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