Shock Machine Debuts Big New Sound

Shock Machine

By Emma Cohen of Indie Band Guru

From the mind of musical mega-talent James Righton, former front man of Klaxons, comes Shock Machine, his first solo project. Open Up the Sky, the premiere EP from the new effort, is expected out later this year.

Shock Machine Builds Big Sound

With the help of some serious talent — producer James Ford (who was worked with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Florence + the Machine, and Haim) and mixer Ben H Allen (who was worked with Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, and Deerhunter) — Shock Machine takes a wild turn into the world of electronics without abandoning indie sounds.

The first single is the title track, “Open Up The Sky.” The sound style used in this music is similar to being trapped in a kaleidoscope — each of the different sounds transport you to different feelings and spaces.

Righton and Shock Machine, by extension, are from England. This is evident by the hints of the Beatles in the song. Personally I found “Open Up The Sky” to sound quite like “Strawberry Fields.” Whether the influence is there or I’m projecting is uncertain.

The track starts with no hints of anything other than an electronic melody. Though the sound is similar to something from a standard keyboard there is a spacey touch in it as well. They continue until about the 1 minute mark, when the drums and rest of the instrumentation kick in and the song really explodes.

Righton’s vocals melt into the song, it’s quiet and loud moments alike, like butter. His low baritone is smooth and steady, and he has a surprising range. The lyrics maintained an artful simplicity that both complemented and elevated the instrumental aspect of the song.

Listening to this track felt like being trapped in a space ship looking back onto the world. It was so beautifully out there and simply done that it felt almost unreal. I have high hopes that Shock Machine will continue to shock the world of music.