Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Mikaela’s Fiend “We Can Driving Machine” Review

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

Seattle’s Mikaela’s Fiend is a two piece noise rock band comprised of cousins, Chris Ando and Donnie Shoemaker. A while back when the trend was to delve into the deeper extremes of noise and move away from the typical riffage and harmonization or hard rock and metal, along the lines of The Locust, I often wondered what drove musicians into these patterns. Was it because of a blossoming hatred towards anything with a remotely mainstream image or sound? If that’s the case, then how did The Dillinger Escape Plan create such a following; or other harder, noise or math based rock/metal bands which are signed to faux-indie labels? With Mikaela’s Fiend, however, it seems that the trend has given birth to a new breed or musician, basing their composition on more recent stages of the music. Ando, 19, and Shoemaker, 17, formulate their sound as a testament to the noise rock that has been key the last few years, and do so as a fourth, fifth or even sixth generation punk band.

Throughout We Can Drive Machine it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish one untitled track from the next until track 7, which teases harmonization before it leveling off and fading away into the rest of the album. Unlike the rest of the album, however, “Untitled #7” seems momentarily influenced by punk music unlike the other tracks on We Can Drive Machine which hint at punk’s rebellious nature. And what follows is an energy and insight into the noise which it evolves into, a sign of what could be. Whether it be deemed noise, avant or experimental rock, the music finds itself as one of the true remaining rebellious forms of music, embracing some of the purest ideals of the original punk movement. Like much of modern rock, noise rock has been played out and taken to prior extremes which leave it little room for growth. But unlike much of modern music, and unfortunate for Mikaela’s Fiend, this brand of noise rock is undramatic, overly pretentious and generally unlistenable.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]