#34: Machines Of Loving Grace – Limiter (1993)
Not every record prowling at the periphery of this arbitrary list – songs from a delicious yore, proclaims the packaging – necessarily receives heavy rotation on the LGM turntable during whatever end times we’re currently scheduled to be living through. And maybe that’s the point; an intention, however vague, of pulling words from the ether in the attempt to contextualize. Of pulling tracks that may have helped to shape musical appreciation from their brown paper sleeves, then hanging them on the wall for all to see.
Hence ‘Limiter’ by ’90’s industrio-rock outfit Machines of Loving Grace. A band who endured extremely limited exposure in the UK (I only chanced across them on the soundtrack to The Crow – purchased solely because it also included ‘Time Baby III’ by Medicine, a particular passion back then) – although they were recipients of far greater radio play across the pond. Kinda understandable, as theirs was a robust, fleshed-out sound; all the rage 15/20 years ago, and perhaps a shade too unsubtle for our modern, refined ears.
And yes, there remains a weight of melodically abrasive, clunkily-produced rock music from that era that could have been featured here – and by revisiting the three MoLG albums for this article I was reminded exactly why it’s this band that stand out from the ambient hubbub (both then and now). There’s a texture at play, a delicate subversion of standard rock poses. And I don’t simply means the strings on this track (although they do help to subjugate the mood); the percussion’s seeped in intricate detail, the bass stalks the momentum, and Scott Benzel’s lyrics are loaded with the genus of sharp reference all-too-frequently missing from the general oeuvre. ‘Deliciously understated’ isn’t a description I’d usually attach to rock music, but here it’s very apt indeed.
Machines Of Loving Grace / Limiter