The Singular make a wonderful sound. Space like and textural in its atmosphere, The Sad Machine shows the band to have shades of Muse and Radiohead, but perhaps without the rock tendencies of either of these bands, especially in the voice of front man James Pequignot who sounds uncannily like Matt Bellamy. The record edges on being epic with its sound but is let down somewhat by the DIY recording approach adopted in the making of the album, especially on the drum sound. Never the less this is an album packed full of brilliant pop songs that charm and worm their way into your affection.
The album opens on the Cocteau Twinsesque Airplane Food complete with effect laden guitar and earthy piano before giving way to the gloriously dark Patience As A Virtue that uses unexpected chord changes to mess with the listeners expectations. The straight forward poppiness of CMF shows the band also has an ear for the commercial and possible radio airplay.The one track that stands out for me is the piano driven The Traveling Salesman Problem. A song that if put in the hands of a good producer could easily break the band in Europe.
There is a simplicity to this record that appeals to me. It dark in both lyrics and music. They have managed to fuse different recognisable influences into something, that while familiar is fresh and innovative.