KAISER AND THE MACHINES OF CREATION – Flowers And Lies (2021)
Released by Melodic Rock Records and mastered by reputed Maor Appelbaum Mastering in L.A., “Flowers And Lies” is the proper debut album from KAISER AND THE MACHINES OF CREATION. Founded by songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Paul Kaiser back in 2002, they released a two limited distribution albums and a ‘The Ronnie James Dio Tribute Album by Paul Kaiser and Friends’, but “Flowers And Lies” is the ‘true band album’ by Kaiser & Co.
‘’Flowers and Lies’’ is a very interesting album that mixes and blends its influences rather well and it’s all rather less simple than the ‘Australian Melodic Heavy Rock’ tag the band use in their promo. This is an album of light and shade, progression and simplicity, old and new and a heap of other contrasts.
We open with lilting guitars that seem to herald an ’80s art-rock introduction before strummed guitar washes in with a persistent vocal that cajoles and questions. This isn’t staple ‘verse-chorus-repeat’ fare, this is far more interesting – as a title track it’s a song that only warms you up for the sonic mash that is to come.
From the potential singalong of ‘Institute’ through the change the world sentiment and crashing refrain of the Bowie-like ‘We’ll Climb the Mountain’ (which sports some great melodies) you know your in for an unfamiliar ride.
For every glimpse of a little old school Goth for ‘In The Mist’ there’s a twist around the corner – like ‘It’s All a Lie’ whose clockwork opening and sparse orchestration makes you think of The Stranglers, it’s all rather dark, hypnotic and kinda creepy just like we like it.
Half way in there’s more Seventies rock meets progressive into ‘Blown Away’, a lighter fare than most here with melodies hummed and where unexpectedly that orchestration breaks in that gives it another layer – an almost Beatles-like under-sheen that we see recur again to even greater effect later on.
The crush of ‘Who Decides’ is driven by a metallic guitar, perhaps the most accessible track on the album and the sax is a masterstroke giving a unique touch.
Then the hard rock guitar riffage of ‘It’s OK to Wake Wp’ is one of our favorites, simple, direct and perfectly balanced. There’s a wonderful epic Beatlesque composition at the end too – ‘Not Tonight Josephine’ is a show-stopper of a tune, and more than memorable. It’s a fine way to close.
“Flowers and Lies” is a very interesting album from a musician and his band not afraid to mash-up their vast influences, ranging from Hard Rock, progressive, ’80s melodies, Beatles and Bowie touches, and a pinch of darkness, old school Gothic tang.
01 – Flowers and Lies
02 – Institute
03 – We’ll Climb the Mountain
04 – In the Mist
05 – It’s All a Lie
06 – Blown Away
07 – Who Decides
08 – It’s OK to Wake Up
09 – Not Tonight, Josephine
PAUL KAISER – vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
STEVE ANDERSON – bass
MATT REDMOND – keyboards, grand piano
SIMON TIMOSHENKO – drums and percussion
Jennifer DeGrassi – harmony vocals
Alex McLeod – Saxophone solo on ‘Who Decides’
James Balderston – Tambourine on ‘It’s OK to Wake Up’.