The Secret Machines, Columbus, OH, Wexner Center, July 26, 2004
Maybe the band’s name is more true than anticipated. Hatched in Texas, this band quickly made the transition to the bright lights of New York, and with their apropos name, started playing their brand of organic, eclectic and sometimes downright eerie brand of music to whoever in the Big Apple wanted to listen. The Secret Machines were borne with two brothers and a friend and although are making a name for themselves in the underground, they are, just as their name suggests, a lost secret in the machine of high-dollar music.

The Secret Machines brought their Tangerine Dream-like music to the Wexner Center and their probably was not a better place to hold the show. With few mood lights illuminating the stage, the Machines added harsh spots that gave off beautiful silhouettes against the dark backdrop and added a hint of brash mystery to their live performance.

Drummer Josh Garza sits motionless to begin the set, sticks in hand ready almost taking a life of their own when almost four minutes later, the first brash cymbal crashes hit the airwaves. All the while, brothers Ben Curtis (guitars and vocals) and Brandon Curtis (keyboards, bass and vocals) delve into an enigmatic musical journey. But once the entire band starts playing together, it is like a symphony of brazen sounds all mixed together to form an almost perfect mold of melody.

Songs like ‘Nowhere Again’ are an almost unrealistic perfect representation of what The Secret Machines bring to the musical world. There are almost not enough positive words in the dictionary to describe what this band provides both live and recorded. The Secret Machines can then take the depressional upbeat sound of ‘Nowhere Again’ and then spin 180 degrees and provide and inspirational downer ‘You Are Chains.”

For the few hundred (maybe) that witnessed The Secret Machines at the Wexner Center, it may be a story for the ages as it is almost inevitable that this band break out of their secret hiding hole and burst on the scene like a Britney Spears rumor. Like all good secrets, this band has to be known and in ways that the secret was never meant to be known. Perhaps embellished or perhaps just downright mythical, Garza, Curtis and Curtis should be part of the grand musical rumor mill before long. Let’s just hope that while The Secret Machines become well-known stars, they keep the grounded reality and mystery in their music.