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Turing Machine

It's oddly appropriate that Turing Machine takes their name from the theoretical computational device envisioned by British mathematician Alan Turing. Turing's machine was designed to solve all solvable computational problems, and while its namesake band may not completely solve all musical problems, they aren't afraid to tackle some of the stickier ones. The first question is the dilemma of how to keep instrumental rock interesting. Well, that's an easy one for this bunch. Turing Machine's powerful noise shows that instrumental music need not be bland background filler or devolve into proto-jazz wankery. That might be because the band members have been around the rock block a few times: Justin Chearno (guitar) and Scott DeSimon (bass, synthesizer) spent their salad days in the noisy and now-defunct D.C. indie rock band Pitchblende. The young Gerard "Jerry" Fuchs (drums) cut his teeth in Vineland with ex-Bitch Magnet guru Jon Fine.

Turing Machine's experience and intelligence shine on their debut album A New Machine for Living. "Flip Book Detective," the album's opening song, tumbles out of the speakers and breaks into a brisk trot, swiftly and expertly navigating the rocky terrain between math and post-rock. "Robotronic" begins as a ball of tension and release, with repetitive guitar balanced by explosive drum flurries that expand into a modulated drone. The featured track, "(Got My) Rock Pants On," slowly builds from a sparse dronescape to a restrained explosion. Turing Machine knows how to craft a compelling song out of bass, guitar, and drums without resorting to trickery or kitschy gimmicks -- you won't find any dialogue samples on this record. The fuzzy lines, bleeps, and whorls of synthesizer serve to enhance the shining edge of the guitars and to augment the soft brutality of the bass and drums.

Turing Machine acknowledges their influences -- This Heat, Krautrock, prog rock, and modern instrumental bands like Euphone -- and traces of each can be detected in the band's music. From 45-second sound trickles and extended synthesizer drones underscored by waterfall percussion to bass-heavy chug fests and sprawling monumental epics, Turing Machine's songs maintain an innovative energy and drive. Keep the lyrics. This band sticks with the rock.