Mikaela’s Fiend is an extremely unique band whose mix of grindcore, experimental metal, thrash, and art punk have no formula that you can follow, no instructions that anyone can mimic, and an anxious tempo that travels beyond warp speed. The eleven tracks on their full-length debut We Can Driving Machine are untitled and, with the exception of the first track, are all instrumentals composed by two cousins, drummer Chris Ando and guitarist Donnie Shoemakers. Both are from the Seattle area and grew up being influenced by the underground music of the city. We Can Driving Machine represents their influences and their intensely crazed musical techniques.
The first track sounds like it came from a 1930’s vinyl record played on a Dictaphone, sort of a pre-War World II sound. It’s sweetly melancholic, blissful and charming in tone, the only track on the album of its kind, and credited to Grandma Robinson. Each subsequent track is filled with a neurotic edge of clipped notes, pellets of drum strikes, high pitched distortions, blistering chord concoctions and hyperactive eruptions. The music moves through mechanical spasms individually plated into the tracks and yet there are human impulses being injected into the layout, determining the pitch and length of the sonic blasts. The delineations between the tracks are blurry, each acting as an extension of the other. The music is manically intense, physically rigorous and challenges one’s endurance.
The dizzying rate of twisted chords and scraping textures have a sonic kinship to the Dillinger Escape Plan. The band’s frantic contortions have a crushing effect and stringency similar to Karp. The coordinates for the matrix of sounds have a dysfunctional appearance, coming together in a haphazard manner and fitting together in a mangled mass of metal held by steel clamps. The blistering tones and cyclone speeds have a Lightning Bolt like sound, which has that borderline nauseating/artistically liberating effect.
The tracks have an experimental quality, not knowing where the combination of sounds and the change in aperture of the notes will lead their destinations, but going along with the feelings that inspire the impulse anyway. Mikaela’s Fiend is very unique in that no one else can map out its layout but Chris and Donnie.
Lightning Bolt – Rainbow
Karp – Suplex
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Irony Is A Dead Scene