Influences; all bands have them. They can be a source of inspiration, ideas to take, twist and develop as your own, something to aspire to, a challenge to match. Alternatively they can be ripped off, cheaply watered down and just plain old stolen as a cash-in. How influences are used can make or break a band, and also save them from, or condemn them to, a critical mauling. For every group genre-mashing/borrowing geniuses such as The Horrors or The Go! Team there are half a dozen facsimiles like The Pigeon Detectives. Edinburgh's The Machine Room have selected their sonic weapons from the past and, crucially, they know how to use them. Debut EP 'Love From A Distance' isn't quite on a par with the first two bands mentioned, but it pisses from a great height on the likes of the third.
Previous single 'Camino de Soda' chucks in a spattering of baggy to some Rapture-inspired dance floor beats and cowbells. It may be a touch '2003' but due to some killer hooks and glistening synths this doesn't matter a jot. 'Cost Of Progress' is another frantic electro-indie stomper of the sort that Delphic should have made more of, and the airy dreampop of 'Picking Holes' drifts along in a relaxing haze, driven by crashing drums and chiming guitars that recall the poppier moments from Chapterhouse, Slowdive and others of that ilk. 'Your Head On The Floor Next Door' again blends similar elements from the past, throwing The Postal Service into the mix. Whatever a scan through The Machine Room's record collection may reveal, the most important fact is that the basis of this EP is great songs and a skilful knack with a tune. Some superb reinventions from a very promising synth-pop band.