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Sand Machine | The Difference Is

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Rock: Modern Rock Rock: Roots Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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The Difference Is

by Sand Machine

Genuinely creative songwriting with harmonies in a sparse, raw rock idiom.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. W.B. Spanish
3:10 $0.99
2. Jollygood
3:16 $0.99
3. Who Will Ride?
4:09 $0.99
4. The Difference Is
2:52 $0.99
5. Fantasy and Farewell
4:23 $0.99
6. Dreams to Forget
1:58 $0.99
7. Same Old Goes
5:13 $0.99
8. The Wizard Knows
4:15 $0.99
9. The Script
4:05 $0.99
10. File Under Clothes Considered
3:56 $0.99
11. Something in the Night
10:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sand Machine is:

Jeremy Bates - guitar, vocals
Dave Hepburn - vocals, drums
Jay Hepburn - vocals, guitar
Emmett Witchel - bass

It's been said that Sand Machine sounds like some kind of cross between Cake and Neil Young. Clearly they're influenced by The Beatles and other rock bands that emphasize songwriting and vocal harmony. The songwriting and vocal harmony are for the most part by twins Jay and Dave Hepburn whose voices are different enough to be distinct yet close enough to be eerie.

The band called a radio they had been bringing to the beach for many years "Sand Machine" because it was filled with sand to such a degree that if you opened the CD player and turned the radio upside-down sand came pouring out. Yet it still worked. Inspired by its persistence and dedication to music, the band named themselves after it (and that has made all the difference).

From a driving stomp to a trudging waltz, Sand Machine songs are diverse both in musical treatment as well as content. Tracks off their new CD The Difference Is range from the social commentary of "File Under Clothes Considered" and "W. B. Spanish" to the story-telling of "Something in the Night" to the emotional revelation of "Fantasy and Farewell." Sand Machine manages to blend wry witty humor with an almost sinister earnestness to create a rock that paradoxically is challenging multi-layered complexity within basic accessible sound.

In November 2002 Sand Machine upped the ante and released a full-length album, The Difference Is, recorded with 2-Time Boston Music Awards Producer of the Year, Dave Minehan (Paul Westerburg, Neighborhoods) at Woolly Mammoth Sound, who called them "the most haunting and confounding band I've ever recorded."



to write a review

B. Tucker

From all the bands i've heard, sandmachine is the best
All the songs in this CD are really awesome. my favorite song from this CD would have to be Something in the Night. The band is great and i cant wait till i'm eighteen so i can go to some of their concerts.

craig shoemake

mature and memorable music
1) W.B. SPANISH—The song starts off with a halting guitar that quickly rolls into a faintly Spanish tune. The sound is at once familiar and original and lingers with you—I have caught myself humming this song on a number of occasions. And this is what you’ll find about so many of the compositions on this album—they stick with you. In general, what makes a great band is not the deftness of the musicians, though that certainly helps, but tunes that stick with you. W.B. Spanish is the first sign that this album, and this band, are going to be something memorable.

2) JOLLYGOOD—If you want to drive in the fast lane, drive with “Jollygood.” The song has an incessant, foot stamping beat that might get you pulled over if you don’t watch out. On this track, Dave Hepburn, the singer and brother of lead singer Jay Hepburn, offers proof of further vocal talent in the band.

3) WHO WILL RIDE?—This is a beautiful song, with a gently balladic tune that at times reminded me of the Moody Blues. Jay Hepburn’s voice is here darkly mellow, and perfectly in keeping with the mood of this song that is sad yet ends with a satisfying note of emotional closure.

4) THE DIFFERENCE IS—The title track is about a guy who is down and out but refuses to give up. It’s defiant, driving, and relentless, crowned by an unforgettable instrumental that shows up the band’s musical skill.

5) FANTASY AND FAREWELL—I have one word for this song: Brilliant. This is, I think, Sand Machine’s most mature composition to date. It is worthy of a lot of long time professional bands you hear regularly on the radio and really cries out for wider recognition. The song is an odd collage of sounds and voices and changeups with an almost medieval air, partly thanks to the addition of a cornet. This was a small but decisive move that sets the song apart. Somehow, too, the band manages to make a simple chorus of “goodbye” memorable, and ends the song with a haunting guitar chord that hangs with you long after the song is finished.

6) DREAMS TO FORGET—This is a dark, sinister song, and memorable despite its short length (under two minutes), and clipped ending. It’s a shame too, for even in such a short time it develops some promising material. I can’t help but think this piece could have been developed into something grander.

7) SAME OLD GOES—A quiet mood piece with an air of reflection and reminiscence that is easy to miss on a first or even second time around. But the more you hear it the more it grows on you. Jay Hepburn’s relaxed voice, unpretentious as always, with a steady, lilting drum and guitar accompaniment, makes for a truly enjoyable “easy listening” experience.

8) THE WIZARD KNOWS—For me, this was the weakest link in the chain. The repetitions didn’t add to the song or the tune, which seemed to struggle for coherence. One for the vault.

9) THE SCRIPT—A song about a guy who has some preconceived notions about how relationships are supposed to work out, and then gets upset when his “opposite” doesn’t read her “lines.” An all too common dilemma set to a song filled with some imaginative changeups and instrumental accompaniment.

10) FILE UNDER CLOTHES CONSIDERED—A definite crowd-pleaser and one of the band’s best numbers. This is the kind of song that makes it hard to stay put in your seat—some part of your body is just going to have to move! There is a lot of talent on display here: Jay Hepburn’s song writing skills, the musical changeups, lyrics that’ll make you laugh, and last but not least, the debut of the Underclothes Singers.

11) SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT—This is one of those long, slow, lumbering songs that feeds and builds upon the mood it creates. The lyrics, sometimes poetic, sometimes lightly comic, are a story and a backward looking musing by a character in the story, and the music builds along with the words, finally taking over the song with a majestic, soulful jam that is filled with sadness and reminiscence. This is certainly one of the most mature and memorable of Sand Machine’s creations and a fitting end to a superlative album.

Sandmachine Fan

Everytime I listen to this album it seems to get better.
Amazing! This is my favorite album since The Beatles White Album. Everytime i listen to it, I seem to enjoy it more. The music is proficiently played, and the lyrics are incredibly luminous. It takes talet to prduce such a wonderful collection of music. Also I admire this group of musicly gifted individuals, for createing their own style. I read such things as "Sandmachine is a mix of...or...Sandmachine has the sound of," but I think that Sandmachine has there own style. I find myself comparing bands to them instead of them to other bands. And The Difference is, WOW, this is a great piece of work. The first time I played "Who will Ride" it was stuck in my head for days, only to be replaced with "Smile..." These four men have been blessed with pure talent, and I can not wait till the release of their next CD.