[sic] Magazine

Dream Machine – The Illusion

From the ashes of Matthew Melton’s effervescent Warm Soda project rises Dream Machine. Such is the circle of life. That band was all about honest-to-goodness power-pop, neat guitars leading to blasts of garagey rock ‘n’ roll, but Dream Machine is an altogether different proposition. Darker, seedier, it looks like it may hail from the wrong side of the tracks, yet all is not what it seems. The Illusion is just that.

Melton plays a velvet-clad character alongside his wife Doris’s all conquering organ lines and between them and some speeding drum fills they conspire to deliver a series of hard-rocking riffs and hooks which, thanks to their surprising simultaneous pillowiness, nevertheless hold universal appeal. All the tough stuff is just for show it turns out, The Doors hitting muscle beach with Marc Bolan just for kicks. Consequently The Illusion is outrageously good guitar fun, a downright hoot even, its flip arguably more melancholy, but even then these are jams with equal parts righteousness.

Melton still knows his way around a killer chorus too, simply decorating the marauding guitar and organ virtuoso parts with his big smile. The title track deploys both to establish a crunchy groove, Doris jamming away like the Phantom possessed, him digging deeper and deeper into the vibe to pull out a wild solo to close. The two combine to head-banging effect on the standout “I Walked In The Fire” too, the frontman performance here turning deliciously shamanistic. In places the result is like a poppier, super-charged Black Mountain, yet the mind-bending closer, “Weeping Statue”, takes no such prisoners as it launches off instead in the direction of some spacey prog-opera, laser FX firing off like fireworks over the Disney castle. The Illusion is triumphant stuff from team Melton, softening the blow that Warm Soda is no more, Melton a man utterly reborn.

Best track: “I Walked In The Fire”

~The Illusion is released May 18th 2017 via Castle Face.~