By: Jessica Grose
The Weather Machines have a song towards the end of The Sound of Pseudoscience called “32,000′ Above Suck City.” In a plaintive, Ted Leo-ish yelp, frontman Jason Ward sings about looking down at mythical Suck City, thinking, “[W]e’re two hours from a drop-dead feeling like we’re past the point of no return.” Everyone’s looked down at Suck City at some point; some are actually permanent residents, folks who would feel so lucky if Suck City was merely the capital of some flyover state in their psychological universe.
Cheeky lyrics dealing with feelings of repression and depression are the Weather Machines’ forte, and throughout The Sound of Pseudoscience — their debut full-length — this South Dakota outfit supplements that sarcasm with power punk riffs reminiscent of the Hold Steady. It’s straightforward rock that won’t set the world aflame, but the Machines are tight enough to overcome the album’s lack of any revolutionary discoveries.
Sure, the band’s debut is called The Sound of Pseudoscience, but if the whole rock star thing doesn’t work out for Ward, he has actual science to fall back on: Ward has a degree in electrical engineering. On the strength of this debut, though, Ward should quit his day job: He won’t be visiting Suck City any time soon. The Weather Machines will play a one-off, Feb. 11 show at St. Joe Pub in their hometown of Rapid City with Stereotyperider, the Revenge, Out On Bail, and Noise Noise Noise. The Sound of Pseudoscience is out now on Tigers Against Crime.