Paul Newman Machine Is Not Broken (My Pal God)
Machine Is Not Broken (My Pal God)
Reviewed by Christopher Hess, Fri., May 5, 2000
Machine Is Not Broken (My Pal God)Geographic evidence aside, Austin should not be in any hurry to surrender Paul Newman to the Windy City. Even though half the band now lives there (drummer Tony Nozero having moved some time ago and guitarist Craig McCaffery following suit just last year), and Machine Is Not Broken bears the stamp of Chicago label My Pal God, this ever-tightening, rock-hard quartet came up under the guidance of dearly departed local indie Trance Syndicate and has built a dedicated, intently inanimate following in local clubs. Besides, namesake Paul Newman and six-string-bassist Eddie Robert (arguably the heart of the band) still call Austin home. The reason to hold on? Machine Is Not Broken is a magnificent album, compact with all the logarithmic exactitude of their earlier releases, but showing a laxity within their strict orchestrations that only comes from familiarity between the players and further improvement in writing songs. And the playing, throughout, is brilliant, from the surreptitiously delicate "Eight Day Wait" and "Perhaps You'd Be More Comfortable" to the rapturous roll of "Under the Golden Horses" to the steadfast connections of "Hampton Kicks" and "The Pound or the Fist." In short, Paul Newman is simply too good, their music too unique and intelligent, to let go without a fight.