Fireworks

Newman - 'The Elegance Machine' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 02, 2015    
 
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Absolutely bloody marvellous.

Some things are undeniably English; afternoon tea, chips wrapped in newspaper and Steve Newman. It's hard to believe but with 'The Elegance Machine', Newman have delivered their eleventh studio recording and in doing so become possibly the most productive British Melodic Hard Rock outfit still in the game. Sadly, for whatever reason, Newman lacks the "presence" of many of their contemporaries but whilst many others talk it up, these guys not only talk it but walk it!

The opening salvo of 'The Suit (Skyscraper)' and 'The Elegance Machine' elicit a "where the hell did these come from?" response. Not only do Newman continue to deliver cleverly themed songs (the former dealing with corporate greed) but it also seems that Newman have found a new level in terms of the delivery. Massive hooks backed by crunching guitar, soaring keyboards and a whole new love of the distortion pedal take this to where Newman hadn't really tread before. No, they haven't decided to go Heavy Metal, but perhaps comparably think how FM went from 'That Girl' to 'Tough It Out' over a couple of albums; not heavier, not Metal, just "ballsier".

Tracks such as the excellently written and delivered 'Halo' and 'Prayer For Apollo' see Newman delve into slightly more "Modern" territory, perhaps their jaunt last year with Vega rubbed off song-writing wise. Usually, songs written about domestic abuse tend to be your standard four minute melancholic ballad, however on 'She Walks In Silence', Newman defy the trend with a marvellous "in your face" Rock track which still manages to ram home the lyrical content message, just be sure to delve into it.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'One Good Reason' and 'Pretender Surrender' continue the extremely high quality fare on offer. 'Send Us Salvation' misleads us by suggesting it's a gentle ballad before the band open up and turn it into a modern day monster. If I had any quibble it's with the closing track; the piano-led ballad 'Scars' which, despite being a good song, ends the album on a little bit of a downer when I was looking forward to just one more adrenaline-fuelled Rocker.

All in all Newman are like a fine wine, getting better with age and each release. If this was any number of Newman's contemporaries, I'm sure people would be raving uncontrollably, extolling the virtues of yet another Scandi Melodic Rock act. But the simple fact remains, Newman are British and sadly remain largely a secret to the uninitiated, although this WILL change!

Grab a half of lager, hang the Union Jack out your window and sit in your sunroom and be proud of the fact that a guy from Bognor Regis is competing at the highest level; absolutely bloody marvellous!

Kieran Dargan

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