With a howl, “Sixteen Tons” elevates listeners to the world of Gentle Machine in the form of their debut album, Business End. Inspired by Pink Floyd, Radiohead and R.E.M., this Vancouver-based, indie-rock band embodies speakers with a combination of their musical influences along with a fusion of sounds akin to the lovechild of Modest Mouse and TV on the Radio.
Tom and Petr Pospisil have been writing music together for over a decade—scribbling down songs in bathrooms, vans and garages—generally in times of extreme joy or desolate dismal. “When I Make Friends” for example, discusses the hits and misses of friends as relationships rise and fall, while the track also delivers a message for listeners to know when to cut losses with “shitty friends.”
“It’s a human need to be creative and it’s definitely filled by making music,” says Petr. “What I’m most passionate about is writing—specifically lyrics, but also melodies that are good on their own. There’s nothing quite like that feeling. I can quit work, I can quit women, but I couldn’t quit music.”
During these years of writing, the duo developed one hundred songs and decided to bottleneck their talents of playing with hip-hop artists and garage bands into a single entity, known as Gentle Machine. The Pospisil brothers decided to personally record their initial album and spent countless hours in the studio experimenting with myriad sounds: synthesizers, as well as real and sampled drums to develop the crunch sounds that thrive within the eight songs on the album.
Realizing a cloak of comfort was beginning to form around the band at live shows from crowd-pleasing themes, the pair decided to work solo to develop the dynamic and overall sound of the band. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the Pospisil brothers is their ability to understand that they are still developing as a band and this debut album is not only representative of the progress made, but also acts as a stepping-stone along the journey that defines the lifelong sound of any remarkable band.
Business End certainly has its appealing moments within the first listen, but the real connection comes after a few rotations, as familiarity and associations form bonds between the listener and the album. Tom comments, “We want to be known for making music that sounds good and is emotional—music you would want to immerse yourself into for an hour as opposed to snack on for a couple of minutes.”
The Pospisil brothers invite audiences to have a listen to their self-produced debut album available on mp3, CD and Limited Edition vinyl. This concept album molded itself into a tribute to ADD and schizophrenia as a battle between activism and nihilism both work together and conflict with one another. Every upbeat tune is interrupted by consequences and every minor melody battles with optimism.
Gentle or not, this Machine is a gear-turning, smoke-pumping locomotive in effortless motion, taking control of stereos one speaker at a time.