. : : December 10th, 2011 : : .
A couple of months back, I posted a 2011 recording from Toronto band, The Elwins. I’d already posted the evening’s headliners, Paper Lions, about a week after the concert. But I’ve somehow neglected to include The Love Machine‘s set from that evening yet.
Which is weird because I distinctly remember being really excited about their set and hoping to see more.
I did a poor job on following through, hadn’t heard a peep from them since, and figured their story ended the way so many young bands do.
Although it seems they’ve only released a single and EP since (within a couple of years of the debut LP Sweater Weather they were promoting back in 2011) and their .com website is offline, their social media remains relatively active and it looks like there were live shows as recent as 2018. Band members are pursuing other endeavours, but as far as I can tell, these guys are still at it!
All indications are that they’ve been sticking close to their home base in Ottawa, Ontario. But you know what? I think it’s really exciting and inspiring that, almost a decade later and some 16-years after their debut EP, these friends are still getting together and performing great music.
There’s a fallacy in the music industry that if you’re not touring the world, breaking records on billboard charts, and selling out theatres at every gig, that you haven’t reached the apex of success. To me, what The Love Machine is doing is the apex of success. Sticking it out (for more than a decade and a half!) in a brutally difficult industry, performing music you love to people who love your music, getting together with old buddies and just doing it in spite of all the objections and obstacles: that is success. That is the real achievement. And it warms my heart that this little band with big messages has done it. IS doing it.
What is it, in this case? Well, I guess it’s punk-influenced 2010s indie rock, with tight guitars, thundering drums, punchy bass, and hoarse, emotive vocals. One of the unique things about The Love Machine is that each of the four members contribute to the song-writing process and, accordingly, each takes a turn as front-person performing their own songs. As each member brings their own flavour, there’s a slight stylistic variety from song to song that kept their set fresh and exciting throughout, without ever losing fluidity.
The sound at the El Mocambo is historically touch and go. They’ve since gone through a multi-year, state of the art renovation that I’ve yet to experience myself but in 2011, the sound of the room seemed dependent on how many people were on stage and who was working the soundboard. This night wasn’t my favourite sounding, but my mics were clipped onto the strings of an inflatable Santa Claus — about 10′ in the air — which helped with the usual room noise of clanking beer bottles and idle chatter. It still sounds a bit muddier than recordings from rooms like the Drake Underground, but is very listenable.
This tape has been a great reminder for me to renew my vow to keep a closer eye on The Love Machine, and hope for the opportunity to catch them live again soon.
Keep up the great success, gents!
- Cold City
- Mr. Mr.
- Love Is On Your Side
- No Matter
- The Good Life
- Width Eyes
- Sweater Weather