NIKKI PUPPET – Men Against Machine (2023)
NIKKI PUPPET has been around for almost 20 years. The band from Hanover around singer Nicky Gronewold and guitarist Christos Mamalitsidis (ex- VICTORY) has always done their own thing, catchy Hard Rock, sometimes heavier. However we didn’t liked much their recently more alternative touch.
But on their upcoming, seventh album “Men Against Machine“, NIKKI PUPPET has created a very cool CD, recording songs mostly in an acoustically format. And that at a time when the whole unplugged train has long since left. And this perfectly suits this band.
The album title “Man Against Machine” also fits with the coherent cover picture, there’s handmade music and no artificially inflated studio stuff. The song immediately invites you to sway along and makes it clear how catchy the band’s melodies are. You swing along in a relaxed manner, this is relaxed after-work music.
It’s fun to hear Nicky lead her voice through the songs in a sweet and narrative way, instead of letting the rock singer out.
On”Red Balloon” we hear a melodious solo by Christos. The bass flows comfortably, the drums calmly push the drive like on the whole album. And so it goes, the songs always sound like NIKKI PUPPET, Nicky’s voice can be identified immediately. Christos clearly has fun approaching the songs differently.
Sometimes the album swings more, sometimes less, sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes with Latin flair. We hear a more uptempo delivery on “Nothing More”, while the hippie-esque “Morning Sun” is also very nice. Then “Too Blind To See” rock’n’rolls along happily.
You’ll sing along to most of the choruses right away, even if you don’t know them. Nicky never really rips out, the guitar rarely is pushing forward. This is a relaxing album. You can hear that every song got its attention and the band thought about how to integrate the typical rock vibe into this cozy sound.
“Man Against Machine” is really entertaining. Even those who don’t like too quiet singer-songwriter tones should listen to it. NIKKI PUPPET is a band that always do their own thing, and while acoustically albums are now old-fashioned, they recorded one. And a good one.
01 – Men Against Machine
02 – In The Woods
03 – Another Day
04 – Red Balloon
05 – Nobody Changed Me
06 – Living By The Sea
07 – Coming Home
08 – Blueprint
09 – Nothing More
10 – Morning Sun
11 – I Surrender Now
12 – Too Blind To See
Nicky Gronewold – Vocals
Christos Mamalitsidis – Acoustic Guitar
Marc Scholz – Bass
Kai Paulmann – Drums