V-Project’s album New Machine came to me as quite a pleasant surprise. Hard rock released these days is usually overdone is one way or another, with bands emulating either drug-induced hippie antics or 80s hair metal overindulgence, often with tepid results. V-Project’s back-to-the-basics, elegant, guitar-driven AOR seems refreshingly humble and real in comparison, even if the band’s music isn’t exactly something that would dethrone Cheap Trick, Quiet Riot, Tesla or Foghat in their respective heydays.

Although they are not mentioned in any promotional material associated with V-Project, Cheap Trick seems to me to be the penultimate influence on the music on New Machine. Solid, bluesy hard rock with poppy melodies dominates the album. The band is clearly talented but they don’t shove it in our faces, opting to realize a well-crafted melody rather than indulging in masturbatory solos or over-the-top vocal performances. The songs therefore rarely scream for attention, instead creeping up on the listener and enveloping them slowly in their addictive basic momentum. No other song is a better example of this than “Time To Move On”, a mid-paced blues number with a superb refrain that puts ZZ Top to shame. The band shines on other songs too – the heavy “Exit Sign”, the instrumental “Desert Run” or the funky “Tangled In Your Web” are all highlights, with the other songs not trailing far behind.
If music is sometimes like drugs, V-Project is comparable to an established, well brewed and seasoned lager. It won’t immediately get you drunk like hard liquor or make you jump around in epileptic fits like some other, more illegal substances. Instead, one can simply take a seat and savour the taste. Certainly, the night won’t be as memorable, but fun nevertheless. Indeed, with New Machine, V-Project simply released the perfect album for that blues bar around the corner where you occasionally chill out with your friends. Solid and unassuming, yet deceptively addictive, this is a hard rock album worth hearing. If it were released in the late 70s, it would by now be completely forgotten, but for this day and age, it is an enjoyable retro album.

01 – Exit Sign (Robin Mcauley Vocals).
02 – Somebody Like You (Robin Mcauley Vocals).
03 – The Stake.
04 – Disclaimer.
05 – Time To Move On.
06 – Desert Run (Instrumental).
07 – You Don’t Care (Robin Mcauley Vocals).
08 – Tangled In Your Web (Robin Mcauley Vocals).
09 – On Yer Way.
10 – Back To My Baby.

Line up:
David Vaccaro Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Programming, Producer
Robin McAuley Lead & Backing Vocals on tracks 1, 2, 7, & 8
Christopher Vuk Violin on “You Don’t Care”
Jeff Giacomelli Saxophone on “Back to My Baby”

Password: Plotn08


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V-Project – New Machine (2008)

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