Luv Machine – Luv Machine
Artist: Luv Machine
Album: Luv Machine
Released: 1971 | Polydor
Recorded: 1971? | UK
Players: Michael Bishop (guitar, vocals), Bob Bowman (guitar, vocals), Errol Bradshaw (drums, vocals), John Jeavons (bass, vocals)
- Witches Wand (2:45)
- You’re Surprised (2:41)
- It’s Amazing (3:21)
- Happy Children (3:07)
- Everything (3:16)
- Maybe Tomorrow (4:19)
- Reminiscing (2:52)
- Change Your Mind (2:57)
- Corrupt One (3:47)
- Lost (3:06)
- My Life Is Filled With Changes (3:05)
- Portrait of Disgust (4:53)
Somehow Luv Machine ended up in limited release in 1971, the band disbanded around the same time, and what could have been a fairly popular and influential psychedelic blues-rock act (as if there wasn’t enough bellowing out of the UK at the time) was all for naught. Information about the band and the album is very limited on the internet, something that surprised me, seeing how Rise Above Relics Records has re-released the album recently, under the title Turns You On, it since been seen periodically on torrent sites netwide.
Luv Machine have drawn comparisons to UK’s own Killing Floor, sounding to me like a bastard child of Jefferson Airplane, Sabbath, and King Crimson. Sources cite both Barbados and New Zealand as the original location of the group, though members most likely hail from both countries, Luv Machine not being fully formed until they met in the UK. This all, of course, is speculation. The record was banned from radio play in Australia and New Zealand, indicating some level of popularity there, because its cover was deemed “pornographic.” Personally, it doesn’t really do much for me.
Luv Machine rips the first two tracks in under five and a half minutes with a psychedelic-blues-punk urgency seldom heard since the Meat Puppets. “Happy Children” could have easily appeared on any post-1973 Zeppelin album. “Maybe Tomorrow” might be my favorite track, if not just for the genius, yet simple ending, leaving one yearning for track six to begin. When it does, one quickly realizes “Reminiscing” is a fantastic, catchy pop-rock tune, which easily could have provided for an more than adequate single. Writing album reviews makes me feel like Patrick Bateman sometimes.
Though the musicianship is nothing spectacular, and choice of keys and sounds could sometimes be questioned, Luv Machine plays extremely well together. Bradshaw holds the listeners attention with his powerful, sharp fills while Jeavons ties everyone together for the majority of the work. Bishop’s vocal varieties, however, are what truly make this album a delight for me. I really need to be returning some videotapes.
As such a rare work, the original Polydor LP is a heavily sought, rarely acquired collectible today. If you are a fan of the psychedelic or British blues-rock era, this album is a must listen. And despite how some songs may sound on the surface, Luv Machine in 1971 must have been very punk. I feel its punk, hardcore. Why else would it get banned from radio play?
Luv Machine Rear Cover, 1993 release
Errol Bradshaw runs the house band at the Waterfront Cafe in Bridgetown, Barbados. Here he is pictured at Weiser’s Beach Bar.
Album Unity: 7
Total Score: 34