Sound — 8
The band successfully merges its own brand of rock with the sounds of earlier generations. They mix up elements of the last 35 years of rock history like the driving rhythms of '70s German rock, the sprawling guitar textures of late '60s and '70s British psych, pounding drums lifted off of Led Zeppelin, the expansive textures of arena-friendly '80s groups like U2 and Echo & the Bunnymen, and the aching indie rock vocals of the '90s. The opening track "First Wave Intact" is an eight-minute introduction to the influence of New York City's guitar noise brash.
Lyrics — 8
The disc grinds into action with "Sad and Lonely," where hard-hitting drums perfectly capture the angrily depressed mood of the lyrics. Then, "Road Where It's Led" delivers such a fun, ego-pumping chorus that you won't mind when it embeds itself in your brain. The downtempo Pink Floyd influence is apparent in "Leaves are Gone," a sad and seeping ballad filled with whispered vocals and gentle acoustics. "Leaves Are Gone" has the passively nonchalant vocal approach of Grandaddy with a gentle, atmospheric musical terrain as its background. "Nowhere Again" displays the musicians stylistic adeptness in a variety of contrasting genres. This song could almost be an exceptional dance-pop song in the style of the famed Interpol.
Overall Impression — 8
One of the finest and completely enjoyable albums of 2004. The Secret Machines are unlikely to be a secret much longer. For the Secret Machines, Nowhere is somewhere, an admirable destination. Riveting from beginning to end, Now Here Is Nowhere is a delightful record filled with memorable and often astonishing songs, showcasing a young band that has set the foundation for one exciting future. The Secret Machines have found themselves in a fortunate position they're esoteric enough to engage the fickle underground crowd, but savvy enough to bury infectious melodies within their volcanic tempest. Now Here Is Nowhere falters on a few slow electrofolk lullabies, but for the most part, Secret Machines have managed to combine electronic textures with the old-school stuff they so clearly love.