Jacqueline- Reaping Machines
(NUN Music nuncd005)

From Aural Innovations #39 (May 2008)

Jacqueline is a 3 piece Norwegian band that recorded this CD at the Hangaround Studios (owned and run by Don from WE). Don also produced and mixed the CD. The CD begins with Battleships, and this gives you a real feel for the music that will follow. A strong combination of heavy riffs, strange mix of melodic singing and pounding drums. No guitar solos required it seems. The guitar player sings the lead vocals and both the bass player and the drummer provide backing vocals, of which there are a lot. Ignition is another melodic downtuned track with a real focus on the singing but really rocks out and gets a little psychedelic at the end (this must be Don’s influence!). Medicine Man is next and is a little less intense and shorter track. 1957 has a kind of nasty but groovier guitar riff and the drums a bit more garagey texture and almost bluesy ending. Hammers and Nails is one of the only long tracks at 6½ minutes and here the guitar player can actually play some more stuff than just plain riffs and it even gets a bit psyched out. Tom Waits would sound cool singing this one. Cool song. Rearmed is a strange track but great stuff. It is really building up and getting intense when they sadly end the track, rather than take it somewhere really cool. Pendulums has a slight Colour Haze-Kyuss like riff to start but then changes quite a lot. Very melodic and driving stuff. Helmets On is another one of the really cool songs on the CD. I really like the bass riff and groove on this one. Demon Seed keeps it slow and downtuned but has some of the most melodic singing on the record. Heavy one! Reaping Machines, the title track, is next, and is a very different song from the rest of the record. It is a dark ballad of sorts and nearly 8 minutes long. The CD ends with a battleships reprise that is very different from the real song.

For me, I had to really hear this CD quite a few times to get sucked in. Give it a chance.. I don’t know of any other Norwegian band that sounds quite like these guys. I look forward to hearing the next CD.

Check out the record label web site at:http://www.nunmusic.com
Check out the band web site at: http://www.jacquelineband.com

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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