(Chicago’s Mechina released a new album on January 1 and, continuing a long tradition, DGR reviews it.)
The idea of a band creating their own lore occupies a special place in my heart, a place where admiration and hilarity co-exist in the case of Mechina. The ambitiousness of trying to set up a universe and tell a multiple-release-spanning story is incredible, in an age of music that is quickly devoured and disposed of, reserved exclusively for streaming and set up to run in the background. Going beyond the usual goal of “let’s make a really good disc” and into one that seeks to create a musical space opera that pulls from equal parts miltiary sci-fi and exploration segments, that is where my admiration comes to fruition.
That the Mechina crew have doggedly sought to create this saga on a yearly release schedule, with the occasional single release ahead of time, has felt like an exercise in insanity. The hilarity, for me at least, has been in the part where year afer year I have to describe this to what may be a new audience not feel like I’ve fallen into a feedback loop of repeating myself.