Tag Archives: reviews

I Am Machi – “Mammal Pants”

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.

I Am Machi - "Mammal Pants"

Jenavive – “underthesheets”

Jenavive is one sexy woman. She has the obvious sexy qualities – her confidence, her voice, her legs – but it is “underthesheets“, her newly-released full-length album, that shows off the timeless and exceptional sexiness that brings Jenavive to the forefront of the musical sphere.

Released in August 2011 to kick off a cross-country tour, “underthesheets” shows off original and attention-grabbing songwriting. Her talents are decidedly Lady Gaga-esque, a label that comes from her strength and confidence, in addition to some stellar lyrics and singing abilities.

The album starts off with an explicit version of the single “Greedy”, a song that is both catchy and blissfully dirty. While the radio-friendly version of the song finishes off the album, it is the explicit version that catches the most attention and starts the album off with a somewhat literal bang. Stimulating from the first verse, “Greedy” is a musical offer of friendly benefits which may or may not include a third partner. These blatantly sexual lyrics are a demonstration of female power and it is her attitude and confidence that turn the listener onto the song and to the album as a whole.

Jenavive also shows signs of vulnerability and romance as she explores the other sides of love and relationships. By exploring relatable and common issues (such as relationship jealousy and insecurity in “Jealousy”), her songs reach out to the passionate and occasionally hurt person inside all of us, and does so in a way that is nicely composed and well-written. Each song comes with some degree of familiarity, and has the type of sound that makes you think you might have heard her music before but can’t quite place it. This is definitely a good thing: so many new artists try so hard to be “unique” or “different” that they just sound stupid and, ironically, the same. By appropriately showcasing her originality by playing on the familiar and admirably contributing to a well-loved and popular music arena, Jenavive has created songs that are memorable, catchy, and special. It is easy to sing along to this album, and for an artist of this genre, that element is important.

Jenavive is moving up quickly. She has already found a loyal legion of fans who follow her movements across the country, and with an incredible voice that is even better live, her talent is not one to be missed. Check out her website, MySpace or Facebook, buy her album, and drop into a live show, and then you can rightfully look back someday to say, “I knew her when…”

Jenavive - "underthesheets"