We hear a lot about band chemistry: how well members work together, how in-synch they are and whether they seem like a good fit. So when we hear the words “husband and wife duo”, we immediately assume there will be some real chemistry in their music. In the case of Edmonton-based I Am Machi, our assumptions are proven right and their debut EP Mammal Pants shows that some couples really do make sweet music together.
Jileane and Nathan Stokland discovered their musical and romantic chemistry while playing together in their first band, A Little Project. Now married and enjoying their wedded bliss, the duo has created I Am Machi and a fantastic four-track EP. It’s not what you might expect from a married couple; the general stereotype for “couple rock” is acoustic folk, not a very heavy or noisy rock sound. I Am Machi is different. In two words, they rock. With Nathan on guitar and Jileane on drums, the band is small in size but huge in sound, combining sweet guitar riffs and drums to create a really solid and passion-filled album.
The album doesn’t waste any time in getting to the good stuff. It kicks off with the opening track “8-8-4, Oh My!” and this is where we get our first taste of the band’s solid rock feel. Guitar, drums and vocals all come together without any effort, and there’s some super band chemistry at play here. It takes a really good partnership to be able to play this well together, and whether a result of the members’ relationship or something more deep-rooted and natural, it’s something special that can’t be ignored.
I Am Machi brings a distorted, garagey feel to their music, something they call “noise rock” but is a lot more than that. They sound perfectly imperfect, casual and unpolished without being sloppy, and this skill really deserves a lot of credit. They’ve got big sound and lots of diversity in their music, a sign of some major talent and huge potential as future stars. The band names Wintersleep and Mother Mother as major influences, and they definitely have the same sort of feel in songs like “Dance Like a Russian Sailor!” and “Snakes and Ladders”. You might also hear some Bloc Party in their instrumental bits, and even a slight hint of Tool or Chevelle in their heavier moments. This could be due in part to Nathan’s voice, which is almost a lighter, more upbeat version of Maynard James Keenan, sprinkled with Chris Cornell or Dave Grohl or something along those lines. The point is Nathan’s voice is fantastic — and it should be added that so, too, is Jileane’s, who contributes to “8-8-4, Oh My!” It would be great to hear more of her (hint!) on their next album, which, by the way, can’t come fast enough.
There’s something really, really special about this band. I Am Machi is a band to watch and Mammal Pants is an album you really need to hear; lucky for you, you can! Listen to it on Soundcloud or download it for free from NoiseTrade, and then go follow them on Facebook and Twitter, mainly to see what they’re up to but also because they’re funny and weird. I Am Machi is an incredible addition to the Canadian music scene, not to mention an inspiration to married couples everywhere.