Flying Machines have been my favorite almost-famous band for awhile now. I have followed their progress since they were a three-piece young group called The Attorneys, a buzzworthy New York City band who were winning contests and awards left and right. They soon added another member, and a name change later, they had put out a new record out on Meteor 17/EMI/Capitol as the Flying Machines.
Now Flying Machines are a two-piece, comprised of singer William Ryan George and guitarist John Wlaysewski. Between the two of them, there’s a definite Lennon-McCartney vibe going on, with George’s sensitive vocal styling and Wlaysewski’s guitar shredding and superior networking skills. As John puts it, “We mesh my abrasive rock guitar and William’s beautiful singer-songwritery thing. He brings the beauty, I bring the rock. We’re not a garage band, and we always try to keep a little of that mentality so we don’t pick things apart to the nth degree. Like all my guitars on the album were done in one take.”
What emerges from this duality is often something that is both beautiful and catchy, rockin’ and poppy. The group recently got to participate in global experiment known as “Citizens of the World“, which was not just a song (written by the Flying Machines, I might add), but also a video, a documentary, and a way of life. The video featured several global superstars, including Nigeria’s King Sunny Ade (Wlaysewski plays a guitar solo on his upcoming album), India’s Kailash Kher (one of the greatest voices of all time, if you ask me), Algeria’s Khaled, and China’s Cheng Lin (erju master).
Flying Machines are that rare breed: A fresh-sounding New York band whose smarts and cleverness don’t interfere with their capital ‘R’ rock. A lineup whose gifted singer-keyboardist is influenced by Ben Folds and Freddy Mercury, while the Zeppelin-loving, Fender-playing guitarist is unafraid to go to 11…and shred on solos. They’re anchored by a “hyper-creative” rhythm section who keep Flying Machines from soaring out of the stratosphere.
Their self-titled debut album was released in September 2009, with “timeless, classic-sounding modern rock is musically precocious, but never precious”. Their music has been featured on MTV, USA, and has won them contests including Converse’s “Get out of the Garage” competition and awards like “Best Rock Video” at the WMIFF awards in Washington, DC.
What’s next for these guys? The band has posted two new songs on their MySpace page, “Work This Out” and “Let the Right One In”, which might be two of their best songs yet. Two of their songs, acoustic versions of “Talk About It” and “Stay”, were included on our September mix tape, so you can pick those up for free here. They seem to just keep getting better and better. Don’t be surprised if these guys get huge soon!