the Distortions at MySpace

*Another work of darkly brilliant dreampop from The Distortions... Somewhere between Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, My Bloody Valentine and Snow Patrol, The Distortions have found a sound that echoes with dark majesty and narcotic intensity- Mike Bond, UK Music Search

*The Distortions have truly stepped up with what can easily be considered one of the standout records of the year so far, and it stands to set them among some of their greatest peers like Doves & Black Rebel Motorcycle Club... a remarkably subtle and nuanced album ... -Andru Aesthetik,

*Machines At Night" is not an album of bombast and fire, but of introspection and magic- Paul Leeds,

*The Distortions are faultless purveyors of optimistic dream-rock. Richard Stokoe,

*..."Galaxies Rearranging" conjures up images of The Byrds raised on The Jesus & Mary Chain... UK Music Search

*The Distortions rock in a My Bloody Valentine-goes-POP kind of fashion... -Michael Diver, Drowned In Sound London, UK

*Listening to this disc, I'm reminded of other LA bands that tried to convince the suntanned loafers that another world exists; bands like Gwen Mars and Plexi can be clearly heard in The Distortions' music. These songs will hopefully succeed where those two failed. Highly recommended; 8/11 -Paul Leeds Los Angeles

*...the Distortions are the real thing; talented and musically advanced.

*...Masterfully done... -Chaz Martenstein

*Dark, distortion-laden pop mixed with trace elements of goth and 1980s alt-rock (you can practically see the sunglasses and leather jackets). It's enough to make your inner angst-ridden high school student mope for joy. "HiFi Pick" -Jason Morehead

*Existing in a world where The Jesus And Mary Chain and Joy Division replace The Beatles And Stones as the pinnacle of pop genius, The Distortions are a band dealing in the same fuzzy distortion and skewed melodies that made those bands so great. Cooler than The Strokes and with better songs than Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, EXPLODING TEENAGE BODY PART represents a debut album to cherish and love. -Mike Bond UKmusicsearch London

*An excellent album of post punk/indie rock material. If they were over in the UK I have no doubt that they'd be receiving a lot of interest from A&R and labels. "9 of 10 stars" -Scott Brown Heathen Angel London, UK

*Let some promo guys do their jobs and put them on the cover of one of those fancy UK poprock magazines, and this band is ready to conquer the alternative music scene. -Thomas Byttebier Belgium

*...The Distortions are surely the next candidates for post-punk rock royalty. -Sable Yong


THE DISTORTIONS - "Machines At Night"
review by Paul Leeds, 5/07

It was two years ago, almost to the night, that I reviewed The Distortions' other album. I still haven't seen these guys play live, and we live in the same town. What have they been doing the past two years, if not playing out? Sounds like they've been delving deeper into their collections of arty literature and moody vinyl. There has been a shift in their sound, from a more rocking sound to one with far more subtlety and depth. The vocals this time around find F with a faultless wistful voice, as if he's spent the intervening time figuring out a way to say more with his voice by saying it more precisely. The new songs are all of a piece that is quieter, calmer and more pensive than their previous record. I don't hear BRMC so much anymore (unless you count the stretched out gospel on "Howl"), it's more like the Stoned & Dethroned phase of JAMC: the adrenalin has subsided but the passion remains. They're not trying to rock harder, just smarter. On a song like "This Place Doesn't Have The Balls To Kill Me" you get the best of the shoegazer side of the band with the wit and sardonic humor. There's been a successful effort to keep the instruments in check, to not let the psychedelic feel of the reverberating guitars and pulse of the bass and wash of the drums overwhelm the songs, the way Spacemen 3 routinely failed to do. It's easy to crank up the amps and wash everything in walls of sound. It's much more difficult to reign in that feeling and expand it, which is what The Distortions have masterfully done. On "Leadfoot," we have a hypnotic beat with droning guitars, and above it rides F's delicate vocal. These new songs, especially "Quiet Moment At the Factory," have a pulse of optimism that was not present before. The Distortions aren't moaning about life being wretched, like so many of the bands do that wave the post-punk/gloomy banner, but have found what sounds like happiness, space, peace, warmth, even if this newfound serenity was built from the foundation of emptiness. On the lead track "Sparkle Sparkle," F sings, "I'll never know / what I just don't want to know / I'll never have / what I don't already have..." which shows an almost zen-like placidity. It's also the backing vocals on that make it truly majestic. The Distortions are still inaccurately named. "Machines At Night" is not an album of bombast and fire, but of introspection and magic. (9/11 stars)


THE DISTORTIONS - "Machines At Night"
review by Andru Aesthetik, 4/07

L.A. based band The Distortions have just released the album that you are going to be playing in your car all year for every one of those long breezy trips out of town and short excursions driving through the city at night. For that reason it is no coincidence that this album is titled “Machines At Night”.

With “Machines At Night”, The Distortions have released a remarkably subtle and nuanced album that effortlessly dispels any notions of the sophomore slump with such restrained & reflective cool that too many bands in the indie scene these days wish they had but fail to find for their follow up.

Though not a bad album in its own right, The Distortions first album “Exploding Teenage Body Part” was somewhat uneven. When comparing songs like the blistering punk fury of the title track to the more dreamy shimmer of a song like “Shoegazer”, I felt like the
band was being drawn in two different directions and could not fully commit to one. Such is certainly not the case with “Machines At Night”. Where the previous effort felt like a collection of random songs, “Machines At Night” feels like a true album in the classic sense of the term.

Every facet of this album is ten notches above and beyond its predecessor. The songs on this album meander from a delicate intro into an otherworldly crescendo while others just drift by in a dreamy pace all accompanied by soul-searching lyrics that reflect on those unrealized promises that life makes us and the broken ones that we make in turn everyday. Whether its on the aptly titled song, ‘This place doesn't have the balls to kill me’ where singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist F sings, “I’m looking good / but hurt to touch, I’m so alone / much too much, I’m feeling good / but sometimes ache, from those who love / but love to take” or on “Galaxies rearranging” where he softly serenades the lines “I can see me crushing under thoughts of what's to come / I wonder if I got a soul no one could ever want / I think of losing everything and living in the street / I think of how the bad I’ve done is closing in on me / and then I think of you / I think of you / and from the chaos comes something new”. Words like these bring a sincerity and depth to this album that you connect with immediately. Its personal but universal.

As good as the songs are themselves and the poetry of the lyrics, it is in the musicianship/instrumentation that the true accomplishment and beauty of this record really shine through the brightest. The Guitars sparkle, the Drums rumble, the Bass hypnotizes, Voices ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’, Tambourines shake, the Glockenspiel chimes, the Pedal Steel wails and the Theremin moans all over this album. What is even more
impressive is to see someone take such an obscure instrument that possesses such a unique sound as the Theremin does and use it in a tastefully artistic and specific way as multi-instrumentalist F does on songs like “Galaxies rearranging” and “Waiting for the searchlights to come”.

Though alot of us may not be old enough to remember, there was such a time when music was not about bands having only one good song that you downloaded for 99 cents while the rest of the album was pretty much ignored. In this day and age of MP3 players and shuffled play lists, ‘Machines At Night’ stands in complete defiance of the idea that bands can’t create an album of 10 songs that are every bit just as good as the other and flow perfectly from one song to the next. From beginning to end, The Distortions have succeeded in evoking a larger and greater experience that having only one good song can’t even begin to compare with. It is for the lack of albums like this that the record industry’s sales are at an all-time low.

As equally haunting as it is calming, much of what you will hear on this album will sound familiar; though at the same time strike you as something you will not necessarily know how to categorize. It is that sense of hearing something that you’re so accustomed to feel so strange & foreign that summarizes not only what this album is about but also what makes it so good. The Distortions have truly stepped up with what can easily be considered one of the standout records of the year so far, and it stands to set them among some of their greatest peers like Doves & Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Records of Reference:

Beachwood Sparks – Once We Were Trees
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl
Doves – The Last Broadcast
The Verve – Storm In Heaven