Great Guitars Help These Machines Fly Just High Enough

flyingmachinesAlbum Commentary: Flying Machines

Flying Machines is a New York City-based band with an alternative-rock sound. The album is an eclectic mix of influences that at times come out uneven at best. However, there are several gems that make their self-titled album something worth listening to.

“Talk About It”

The amazing guitar riff at the beginning of this song is the start to what you think is going to be a great listening experience – then lead singer William Ryan George chimes in, ruining the effect. If this track had no words or if the lyrics were executed by a better singer, this would be an amazing tune. Instead, the song is watered down.

“On a Whim”
The musicianship of this track is exceptional. The musical arrangement and lyrics are also solid and fit together nicely. However this song is marred again by George. At times he sounds as if he is singing underwater and is attempting to outrun the track at the same time. It makes for another unpleasant listening experience.

“I Can’t Stop”
Everything comes together on this track. The singer sings in time with the music and the multilayered arrangement of both lyrics and instruments blend well together. No one is fighting for supremacy here and there are amazing guitar solos that melt seamlessly into the harmonies of the chorus.

“I Don’t Remember Why”

What could have been a hopelessly corny song is saved by a melody where the guitar playing is prominent. Drums and the piano come into play to help energize the song and drive the narrative forward at the same time. Essentially, it is a well rounded tune that doesn’t become self-indulgent or overstated.

Another potentially disastrous syrupy song is saved by the musicianship of this band. The guitar and drum playing make this a rock song with slightly pitiful lyrics instead of whiny and annoying. The deep harmonies also work well with this track. However, it does drag on a minute too long.

“Gina, Don’t Call Me”
The guitar playing of John Wlaysewski is once again the star of this track. But the lyrics stand up to the musicianship this time. At times though the singer’s voice cracks which breaks the momentum of the song, but it is a minor inconvenience that can be overlooked. As a complete package, the song works well and tells a story that will have the listener interested in how Gina’s life turns out.

This is a solid track where the lyrics, instruments and arrangement work together nicely. The guitar playing and piano are the stars of this track. The interplay between these instruments also makes this song one of the best off the album.

“Video Games”

The song sounds disjointed and that doesn’t bode well for a track that is over four minutes long. If this is an experiment in how to make an unlistenable song, then the Flying Machines have succeeded.

“Hopelessly Alone”
This track simply rocks. With its overlapping harmonies and well-executed playing, the Flying Machines have created something that sounds familiar and original at the same time. The musicianship draws you in and makes you listen to the unfolding narrative – you can’t wait to hear what happens next.

“Clearing the Boards”

This album ends on a high note. Although it is over five minutes long you won’t mind listening to this well done track. It’s a nice showcase of the band’s talents – all the instruments have solos and then come together until the fade out. The inventive way in which this band ended this album will resonate with the listener in a good way.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 614 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

1 Comment

  1. So,
    did you like the album.

    it ‘seems’ like you are giving the album a 79/100 overall.

    but you tell me.

    ps – I like Talk About It

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