When Saints Go Machine: Fail Forever

When Saints Go Machine: Fail Forever
Danish four-piece, When Saints Go Machine released their debut album, Ten Makes a Face in May of 2009. The group wowed audiences by making lush music that straddled the line between avant garde and pop. Their new mini-album, Fail Forever continues to show off the band’s ability to make experimental pop.
It would not surprise me if Fail Forever became a blogosphere sensation; it seems like the album takes elements from many of the blog world’s favorite groups. When Saints Go Machine’s lead singer, Nikolaj Manuel Vonslid sounds like Antony Hegarty mixed with Jim James from My Morning Jacket. The band uses harmonies that remind me of Fleet Foxes but instead of making baroque pop, the group makes music that is a mixture of Battles and The Knife. Drawing the similarities to those type of blog darlings, why wouldn’t this band be popular?
Unfortunately for When Saints Go Machine, I’m not a fan of any of those groups save for Battles. The album’s title track “Fail Forever” is also the band’s most played song on last.fm. The track’s dance beat makes it easy to like but for me, I find Vonslid’s vocals a little off putting. The repetitive sample that underlies the entire track gets a little annoying by the second minute of the song but still the track’s lush strings save it for me.
But “Fail Forever” is really the only really likable song on the EP for me. “Pinned” is the only other track that comes close with its off-kilter 80s beat, it reminds me a little of Adam Ant but I still get hung up on Vonslid’s voice.
Overall, I can see why people might like this band but Fail Forever just does not do it for me. The experimentalism is too heavy on a majority of the tracks to the point where it is annoying and I just do not feel an affinity towards the album’s vocals.
Rating: 3.7/10
MP3: When Saints Go Machine “Fail Forever”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon

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