The primary goal for every band is to distinguish a new record from its previous work and all the other acts in its corner of music. It did not bode well for Centro-matic’s “Fort Recovery” that, after several listens, I still had to check my CD player to remind myself who I was listening to.
Centro-matic’ which put out its best critical work as South San Gabriel in 2001′ has been touring heavily over the past decade and that weariness is evident in its latest release. Its sound is still emotive, even powerful, especially in the tender “I See Through You.” But there just isn’t much striking about the album. The first true sense of life enters on the final track, “Take a Rake,” with a large, sweeping melody. The songwriting is still solid, but the music is no longer fresh and inspired. Centro-matic is a talented band that might do well with a break from the road and perhaps a couple side projects to stretch its members out of the niche they’re trapped in throughout this album.
– Preston Jones