Single Review: Santiago Street Machine – Noisemaker

By on Wednesday, 16th November 2011 at 11:00 am

When there’s word on the street of a new dance act from Manchester, I listen. (Hey, Steve Lamacq did not call me “the sucker for the synth” on 6music 3 years ago for nothing.) Dance rock trio Santiago Street Machine first came to my attention when fellow Mancunians Heavyfeet remixed their track ‘Breaking Bones’ as part of their Manchester : Remixed project this past summer (read more about that here; listenable and downloadable MP3 at the bottom of this post). So when I heard they were getting around to releasing their debut single, my ears perked up.

It’s called ‘Noisemaker’ and the first thing I thought of when I queued this track up for the first was the Prodigy. There is something inherently dangerous in this sound: not dangerous in the sense of “oh my god, I’m going to die”, dangerous in the sense of intrigue. I want more of this. It reminds me of everything my parents warned me against when I was younger; don’t get mixed up with the wrong crowd, don’t cut class, don’t do drugs. (Er, I’ve read some things online that say this band was born out of a Manchester greenhouse? Um…) I’m not expecting these memories of mine to connect with any of you readers directly, but maybe you can remember the time you heard something for the first time and you knew it was against everything you believed in. I’m getting that feeling with this tight 3-minute track.

The beginning sounds otherworldly, and somehow you get the sense that the analogue synths were programmed specifically to sound sci-fi. The driving beats have been with singer/keyboardist Andy Chandler’s emphatic vocals in such a way that this track is bigger than the label ‘dance’ – it’s also jittery bits of pop, and it’s also rock in the way the vocal is delivered. There are parts of this single that will speak to fans from very different walks of life and therefore has the potential to be massive. Pendulum, anyone?

This is no “sleeping dragon” – this is a dragon that has just been awakened and is ready to breathe fire. Look for this Manchester band to “show their teeth” in the coming months.


‘Noisemaker’, the debut single from Santiago Street Machine, will be released on 20 November.

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