James Garcia (Reflex Machine)

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This time around we feature the CD collection of Reflex Machine bassist James Garcia.

The first CD I ever bought with my own money was…

‘First Impressions of Earth’ by The Strokes. My parents were pretty strict about my music, so I didn’t get to buy many CDs early on, so I pirated most of my music (good ol’ Limewire). I remember going out and getting it the day it came out. Bought it from a music store, kind of a local FYE-type place. I talked with the manager of the store and asked to claim the storefront ad for it, too. So I have a giant poster of the cover. Sixteen-year-old me thought was was pretty nifty.

The CD that made me want to make music was…

‘Insomniac’ by Green Day. I remember hanging out with my friends at a church event, and it was around my birthday, so they bought me a copy of this one (blasting songs about meth in a church, gotta love it). I was smashing powerchords like a mofo for months after this… and I guess I have been ever since.

The CD I’ve played more than any other is…

‘Relationship of Command’ by At the Drive-In or ‘Deloused in the Comatorium’ by The Mars Volta. I was a huge Volta fanboy, which then led to me being a massive ATDI fan. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is definitely one of the biggest influences on my guitar playing.

The CD that always make me feel good is…

‘Love in Shadow’ by SUMAC. This is a newer release, but I’ve found my feel-good albums change from year to year. Past honorable mentions: ‘War Moans’ by Mutoid Man, ‘NO’ by Old Man Gloom and going way back… ‘Steal This Album’ by System of a Down.

The CD I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

‘The Ugly Organ’ by Cursive. For when I’m feeling emo AF, there’s nothing as validating as sad pianos and moody violins. ‘The Recluse’ gets me every time.

The CD with my favorite cover art is…

‘You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine’ by Death From Above 1979. Pink background. Two dudes with elephant trunks. Simple. A graphic designer’s wet dream. And mine, too, apparently.

The strangest CD I own is…

‘Speak Loud, Say Nothing’s by Wizard Rifle. If you are sleeping on the badass two-piece Wizard Rifle: Wake. The. Fuck. Up. Twisting, winding, ADHD riffage. Strange and alluring. There’s definitely something here for everyone!

The rarest CD I own is…

‘The Sacred Above The Sacred Below’ by Beast in the Field. These guys were a huge early influence on Reflex Machine, with their massive piles of amps and cabs and groovy instrumental tunes (another two-piece, I like two-pieces). Supposedly one of the top 3 loudest bands, up there with Sleep and Jucifer. I never got to see them in person sadly, but I found their music at Weirdsville Records near the band’s hometown in Mt Clemens, Michigan. I was there to pick up my 250-pound 2×15 folded-horn Ampeg V4B, which is by far the scariest piece of equipment we have. Which is childsplay for Beast in the Field. Mad respect for those guys.

The last CD I bought was…

‘Miserable’ by Bongripper. This band is probably the most inspirational band for me right now as far as their work ethic and DIY sensibilities. I get a lot of hope and drive when I read their story about how they do all their own recording, releasing, booking and merch-slinging. Really down to Earth guys, even while literally shaking the foundation of Earth.

Reflex Machine’s latest album, Rx​:​01, was released on March 6, 2020. You can download a copy from Bandcamp here.


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