They're not a major band, and their publisher, MbD Records, is modest as well. (The name means 'Music by Design', no relation to Surprise by Design, a television show featuring Robert Verdi and Rebecca Cole.)
However, let me tell you that this CD is one professional effort. The first thing I noticed was that it was shrink-wrapped just like a store-bought CD. It speaks to my (sadly) lowered standards for indie band releases that I actually couldn't figure out why I couldn't get the case open for a good ten seconds before noticing the plastic wrapping I was grappling with.
The next thing that I noticed (after winning the battle of the shrink-wrap) was that it even had one of those little booklets that you find with CDs, containing lyrics and a page of band photos. I know this will sound silly, but you know that funny smell that those CD booklets have when first opened? This booklet had that smell. This thing looks like exactly I bought it in a store.
While the band does great music, and I don't mean to take anything away from them, MbD really did an amazing job in the overall presentation of this CD. This isn't some home-burned stuff - this is the real deal. Their delivery was also prompt, and their customer service was excellent: I had some problems figuring out payment methods, being the lame intarweb buying n00b that I am, which were sorted quickly via e-mail.
Even if you're not into alt-rock, it's not all that they have for offer. I recommend looking over their catalog. Amiga fans (which I gather includes some old school MOD music types) might be interested as well.
But am I an isolated incident? I've looked through the message boards for Machinae Supremacy and didn't see one bad word about MbD Records, which is impressive. In fact, I saw a lot of good words. Drooling over the band I expected, but not the distributor. This is an organization that does customer service and does it well. I will download samples of the other stuff they have to offer, and might just buy something as soon as my entertainment budget recovers (stretched it a little thin this month).
Go there. Now. Your esteemed author demands it. (Please?)
(I also demand that someone go and get this into stores, or at least buy it - it's a damn fine CD all around.)
July 7, 2004 AD