Fuck-Off Machete
Glasgow ABC2

I was quite taken aback to see Fuck-Off Machete on the bill supporting Architecture in Helsinki. The last time I saw them they were doing the stoner-rock thing, all Desert Sessions riffs and PJ Harvey purrs, far off from the antipodean headliner’s brass-inflected pop jigging. It’s not quite the Locus supporting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but it seems like a weird one.
Introducing the band with the portetous words “we are Fuck-Off Machete” in a voice of apparent innocence, singer/bassist Nashii sets the tone of subversion, and the band go on to flesh it out with some purely rock riffing and banging. Innocence is out the window like the obligatory TV in a hotel: Fuck-Off Machete are pure rock’n’roll, with the usual hypermasculine showiness bypassed for Nashii’s feminine cool.
It doesn’t take much of this before the wisdom behind their support slot becomes apparent. While their sound still draws from that distinctively stoner-rock pool of head-nodding riffs and muddied rumbling bass, the Machete seems to have eased off a little. moving into much more pop-inflected territory. Their songs deal in the kind of epic dynamics you’d associate with the REM stable, calling on a louder riff here and a kicked-up chorus there. Of course that’s not to say they’ve turned into jangle pop, hell no: the guitar tones still metallic and the bass is still malevolent. But these sounds are used to create a more pop-inflected version of their previous selves, assuming a trajectory similar to that of QOTSA, although the more nuanced vocals allow the Glasgow band a bit more control over the beast of rock that they contain.
As a result, we get a fitting support slot that demonstrates a new degree of potential for Fuck-Off Machete.

(Gary Thoms)