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Switched - Ghosts in the Machine

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Sunday, February 12, 2006 @ 7:31 AM


Corporate Punishment Records

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Better than Kelly Clarkson in a blender.

Switched have toured with some of the greatest bands in metal, and while their music may have missed the ears of many a headbanger, they are on another outing with a new album. Well, sort of.

Ghosts in the Machine is a double-disc release, which embodies rarities, b-sides, and demos, featuring 11 new, unreleased songs. This album is an offering of great listening for those who may be unacquainted to Switched, and for the fans who thought that the talented Cleveland quintet went away. Record label shit happens. Such was the case for Switched a few years ago. The 2001 release Subject to Change deservingly caught attention, but because of variables in the music industry game it has taken a while for the band and Corporate Punishment Records to produce the “underproduced” GITM.

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The tracks on this album are hard-rocking, melodiously rich and brutal, and have the verve track-for-track that many Switched contemporaries lack. There are live tracks from a 2001 Miami performance on the record, which will give the new booty an idea how heavy and rich sounding this band is. Of these live songs, “Religion” really shows off singer Ben Schigel’s vocal prowess. He can do the switch from a guttural Burton Bell- sounding scream to the cleaner rock voice moving across the semitones smoothly and with apparent ease.

“Like Suicide” and “Skins” are two tracks that the listener (should they have a pulse) is bound to be smitten with their addictive quality. A mainstream and an underground sound are alive in this band and its songs, with an indescribable catchiness that is really lively and refreshing. Switched have also included a slamming cover of Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded Me with Science, doing the fucker proud –like poetry in motion, but with a metal edge. Ghosts in the Machine is a good pick if you’re looking to bang and groove to something different than hate, smash, kill music, or Douche Bag for Cutie.

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