Experimental/psych-rock band Deep Machine’s Riverside Drive, which nods to the Nashville road of the same name, is a Walnut House production—co-engineered by key player Brian Cline—that dropped December 2012. Deep Machine get their usual ambient, dreamy point across in four distinct tracks, beginning with “Death’s Marathon,” which opens with snippets from the grave speech of Robert F. Kennedy on the “mindless menace of violence in America” following the assassination of MLK. The speech gives way to a disorienting march as Brennan Walsh’s guitar pools out into oblivion.
The opening hard-rock undertones and low-guitar-and-bass-driven pulse of “Panda Leg” (supplied by Walsh and Seth Ferguson) swiftly unfold into a keyboard-driven melody that sounds like some strange, folky dance before moving absently into jazzy territory. Sonically lush, dense and vaguely otherworldly, Deep Machine’s wordless music is experimental and volatile, yet deliberate, kind of like a guy who’s lost but keeps driving as if he knows exactly where he’s going.
The title track is much more structured than the remaining three, or most others in the entire Deep Machine catalog, and contains more of Walsh’s never-failing guitar. Punctuated by crisp keys from Cline and snapping percussion from Ben Crannell, the melody sparkles and pops into the closer, “G Pace Minor.” A recording of British philosopher and writer Alan Watts chimes in with a fragment of wisdom: “The real you is not a puppet which life pushes around. The real, deep down you is the whole universe,” and the band proceeds to properly space the listener out, as per usual.