No Machine Get Aggressive on “Get It Together”

Long Island hardcore outfit No Machine let fly their punishing new tune, “Get It Together,” over at Revolver Magazine, today. The song’s tight musicianship and unbridled aggression help mark the fledgling ensemble as a formidable, albeit familiar, new sound in the legendary Long Island hardcore scene.

No Machine’s familiarity with respect to the Long Island scene comes from the group’s versatile lineup, comprised of bassist and vocalist Michael Sadis, guitarist Isaac Bolivar, and drummer Billy Rymer. Rymer and Sadis play together in The Dillinger Escape Plan, as well as in NK (formerly North Korea), a post-hardcore trio fronted by Ryan Hunter of the now-defunct Envy on the Coast; Bolivar plays live guitar for NK, as well.

That No Machine’s roster is made up of easily recognizable faces is testament to the incestuous nature of Long Island’s music scene, though this quality actually seems to yield somewhat of a pleasant surprise in this case: the band’s musical components, as well as the sum-total of its parts, offer notable sonic departures from the musicians’ other projects (though the groups’ overarching aesthetic is pretty much the same—raw, gritty, and grim). Sadis, who is almost entirely tacit in his other projects, has a voice that falls somewhere between a scream and a more traditional hardcore yell; it’s perfect for the blunt, brusque lyrics he spits out so caustically, so frantically: “my mind goes numb when my blood boils/ sometimes I think I’m already dead./ get your sh*t together for me./ pull yourself together for me.” And Rymer—whose drumming for the metal/math-core Dillinger Escape Plan is often extremely technical, complex, and rife with double-kick fills and blast-beats—seems to stand back in this setting, letting basic, hard-hitting, straight-ahead beats inform the simple, raging intensity of “Get It Together.”

Indeed, simplicity seems to define the song’s aesthetic. The tune is sonically straightforward—rudimentary, even—the guitar and bass lines plodding along synchronously until the bridge. The same can be said with respect to structure: the song clocks in at a quick two-and-a-half minutes and offers a standard form. Of note, however, is the bridge of the tune, in which amps-up-to-11 guitars relent to a shoe-gazey, atmospheric feel; the bridge is cool and dark and reminds considerably, in its ambient guitar progression and droning vocals, of Norma Jean’s seminal single, “Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste.”

There was once a time in the Long Island hardcore scene when trying for a purposely unsophisticated sound would’ve proven a liability. But with the recent success of bands like Touché Amoré and Defeater—groups who are consciously seeking to reconnect with the grit and intensity of late-90s hardcore—No Machine appear to have arrived at just the right time.

“Get It Together” is the second single off No Machine’s upcoming debut EP Volume 1, which comes out October 7 through Intheclouds Records.