Track Review: This Dumb Machine by Zvilnik

Since I was young, I had CRT instead of flatscreen LCD TV for the longest time (My family just got its first flatscreen this year, the HD was overwhelming at the beginning). We would usually find sub-par CRTs dumped by families who have moved on to flatscreens and hook them up. Many times the old TV will be faulty: Blurry images, colour flickers, or it would simply not turn on at all. Disappointed, we would lug the TV back to the back of our flat. Sometimes, we would be lucky enough to find a TV that is in working condition and that would be our entertainment system for the next few years. Sometimes the TV will have a line on the screen or something else and my family would start SLAPPING the top of the TV and presto, it is fixed!

That was the imagery this song brought to me. The light static at the background, how the guitar and bass’ riff went head-to-head with each other at the beginning, and the panic-stricken singing at the beginning gives you the vibe of a family man scratching his scalp trying to fix his new computer, and clearly failing at it. I especially love how the machine is constantly being noted as a “dumb machine”. It “cost more than your education” yet you are the one servicing it, or at least failing terribly at doing so.

Isn’t it funny how we think we are a Macgyver just because we have a screwdriver? Many times we pretend to know what we are doing, and end up with a broken motherboard or a chipped screen.

Perhaps we should leave these to the professionals.


Zvilnik is a Preston band with math-rock and punk tendencies (and a really fun vibe!) and “This Dumb Machine” is a song from their latest album Sparkle Motion, available on bandcamp now! This track was played on Is This Thing on Podcast episode MAGENTA. Click here to listen