October 31, 2022

Engineering the Envelope with Wither Machine’s “Two Sad White Flags”

By Azlyrics

Engineering the Envelope with Wither Machine’s “Two Sad White Flags”

Posted on 31 October 2022

Today I came across Wither Machine, a UK group wonderfully balancing the grey space between innovative song-composition, and pop sensible melodic and rhythmic captivation. With soaring vocals, original guitar riffs, and the tightest rhythms I’ve heard in a long time (thanks to Ben Rowlinson and Barnabas Kovacs respectively on drums and bass), they inspired a few reflections.

I remember being a young man in the digital download revolution of Napster and MP3.com, My hypothesis at that time was that a sophisticated audience would demand more of their artists if music consumption was democratized. Put another way, if innovative and competent artists were given a platform to compete against corporate record companies then the best musicians and writers would win out. And for a while, I was right.

But somewhere along the way, things reverted to the plain and mundane. Why? My two cents are that so many artists thought it was enough to push the envelope without any sensitivity to the listener’s experience.

See, here’s the thing: taking creative chances can only pay off if there is an underlying backbone of talent and competence. This is why I’m enjoying tracks like “Two Sad White Flags. The metric juggling and melodic virtuosity on both the part of the guitarist, Will Sales and vocalist Aaron Lewns is very interesting – but without their brilliant tone and sensitivity to making a tune catchy, these would just be parlor tricks.  A listener wouldn’t have to know anything about music theory to hear that this track grooves just as well for the casual listener as it does for the initiated.

That’s why in this world of hyper-competitive entertainment, it’s not enough to just push the envelope – it must be engineered. And these chaps have surveyed the creative landscape, plotted a direction, and built carefully upon their craft. I hope to hear more like “Two Sad White Flags” in the future, along with whatever inspiration strikes along the way.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/withermachineband/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/withermachine
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@withermachine

Review By Michael Wheeler