Frapped with Gold

The Strict Machines. Possibly the world's only skatepunk/flamenco fusion band.

Together in the early noughties, they somehow found time in their busy schedule of acrimoniously splitting up and reforming to write an amazing number of songs...a very few of which they got around to recording.

Guess who held the microphone? And did the mixing, mastering, pressing, sleeve design etc. Yes, and today I stumbled on the second and final EP I did for them.

So here they are, The Stict Machines:


  1. Wow! I am very surprised at the wide range of emotions and talent this diamond in the rough band exhibits. When you said flamenco fusion, I kind of expected castanets, a flamenco guitar, and some lively foot stopping.

    I was surprised and attentive to the very raw anger and betrayal so poignant in Max Factor and Sandra. Someone is very pissed off angry and hurt and was cut deep. That much comes through.

    I love the enchanting opening instrumental of the wistful Whatever and the beautiful and haunting opening of the longing in The last day of junior high school. Those strings and drums sound amazing! What an incredible arrangement and composition. Combined with that delicate melancholic voice, these are great songs.

    Polpeka sounds quite upbeat and assertive, different from the other songs; but the instruments still sound great combined with that unique voice. What a fantastic range of emotions in these songs. They really are a very talented group.

    So whatever happened to them? Where are they now? And if they're like most talented bands that make up and break up and make up again, who slept with who? Who stabbed who in the back?

    Also, I can't help but wonder, given the nature of some of these songs and their lyrics, I can't help but wonder if the singer is a member of the sisterhood of Sappho; given the drama and melodramatics in some of the songs, could she be a thespian? Would you say the band would be at home in the sacred band of Thebes?

    Thank you for sharing these. Awesome job recording them and showcasing them for us to enjoy.

  2. What happened to them? Fabio the drummer (aka "the glamour" when on stage) finished his degree and returned to Italy. Paul the guitarist went to live with his girlfriend in Hungary, where he campaigns against the astonishingly racist Jobbik party in government.

    And Anna...went to live with her girlfriend. Yes, after years of long, boring relationships with men and short, stressful relationships with women, she found a long, relaxing relationship with a woman. Good for her, not so good for her songwriting inspiration.

    Bad love, chaotic love, lost love - all good song subjects. But happy love - not so much.

    No one slept with anyone else, but there were a lot of vague feelings of being stabbed in the back. For two straight blokes and a gay girl, they could be such drama queens.

    One of their concerts got a write up in the local paper. It ran: "With earthy swamp beats and only lead guitar, fronted by a baby-doll goth-vamp with a siren's call. Compelling".

    It may have helped that the music journalist was Anna's sister :-).

    There's another, earlier EP around somewhere. One day I'll stumble upon it, and put it on youtube.