Frank Horvat Band – Strange Machine

Frank Horvat Band – Strange Machine



Front man, Frank Horvat, acts as songwriter, keyboardist and sometime singer but leaves the parts you really want to hear to TFHB’s main vocalist, Felicity Williams, who has lent her gift to many other great Canadian acts such as Bahamas, Snowblink, Hobson’s Choice and Alex Lukashevsky. THOMAS’ Thom Gill adds his languid guitar to the sound while multi-instrumentalists, Bram Gielen, on bass and Evan Tighe, on drums and percussion, add to the great wall of texture that makes the band’s distinct sound.

First up the title track. The use of synthesizers and beats allows for the creation of a more ethereal sound with a darker atmosphere at times. These synthetic sounds together create elements of dehumanization to the senses, but to go with that perhaps the strong hairpin turns are meant to convey a sense of resistance, which is the attitude most want from this style of modern electronic music. This band has created an impressive vehicle for piles of original musical progression to unload on the masses. Just like any art form, this music is intended to express a message that fans can find meaning in, and connect with. I get the impression The Frank Horvat Band and their music is the vehicle used to distill that melodic messages down into an experience that hopefully is potent and dramatic for the listener. Within these songs you will find pockets of beautiful places, but it’s like an eye of a hurricane offering its fair share of deadly and unpredictable weather. “Strange Machine” provides the perfect storm to explore the unpredictable realm of dark musical expression. These 5 tracks deliver all of the above and will reveal all the a-typical conventions of today’s hard electro-rock that so many enjoy her in the US. Music reminds me of: M83, Zero 7, Lamb, Thievery Corporation and Leftfield.

The next few pieces “Fishworshipper”, “The Drill” and Wasteland2” lift off the ground smoothly yet aggressively and is in itself a kick ass kick off statements to say the least. It was compelling and gravitated me right away like a magnet. Just when you think you got this band pegged next is grooving “Do You Ever Notice” with funky bass groove. All songs present a stunning collection of music that effectively runs the rock gamut and has much to offer insofar as impressive music and captivating vocals. One cannot help but admire artists with strong songwriting skills and truthful conviction all the while demonstrating a strong a level of creativity and musical craftsmanship. One senses a growing ambition as these songs advance. Horvat himself the chief composer demonstrates appealing and at times furious signature that really hit the mark and with intellectually stimulating sounds and lyrics. The musicianship is rock steady and the overall production value tows the line. All in all a great set of songs. Speaking of which notable standouts for me include: “Fishworshipper,” “Wasteland 2” and Do You Ever Notice.”

If you want a multi-layered staple there’s something here for you. Obviously many electronic/house/trance folks will fall head over heels with The Frank Horvat Band. This band is set up rather well for mainstream success in the US and beyond on Satellite Radio. Some of this plays into strong marketability potential world wide. These songs will grants one rare access to peer into the soul of a quintessential artist and tormented soul that none of us can get enough of.

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Thom Ellis. Approved by Cyrus Rhodes.