Machine Don't Lie

Nobody Panic

Phases & Stages

Ben Mallott's debut salvo, 2008's Look Good, Feel Good, delivered an eclectic and versatile backing to his soft yet gritty, Ray LaMontagne-esque tenor. Taking time off to regroup, the local songwriter returns with a full quintet project, Machine Don't Lie. His breathy drawl still drives the tunes, but the band solidifies his sound in a more indie-rock style. The racing rhythm and soulful swoon of "Shadows" balances against the softer lilt of "As We Please" and spitting percussive pop of "Cherry Bomb," while "Don't Look Back" builds to a trumpet-laced climax. Though mid-disc triptych "Accidental Child," "Tonight," and "Rain Song" fall flatter, the exuberant choral burst of "Shoes" and swagger of "Travis Co. Jail" lift Nobody Panic in time for short, subtle closers "Josephine" and "One and All." Whether or not Machine Don't Lie provides the right fit for Mallott, he remains one of Austin's most compelling voices.

**.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Rob Baird
After All (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Bruce Smith
'Til the Wheels Fall Off (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Doug Freeman
Fleetwood Mac Goes a New Way at Frank Erwin Center
Fleetwood Mac Goes a New Way at Frank Erwin Center
Slow start aside, don’t dream it’s over

Feb. 11, 2019

Texas Platters
Terry Klein
Tex (Record Review)

Feb. 8, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Machine Don't Lie

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle