After graduating high school in San Diego, Robin Proper-Sheppard, Jimmy Fernandez, Ron Austin, and Albert Amman formed Society Line. They recorded a six-song demo and began playing locally, developing their rough sound into a bracing mix of metallics and atmospherics. Despite the musical progress, Proper-Sheppard became increasingly restless in San Diego and opted to move to New York. The remaining members continued to play together and thought of replacing the singer/guitarist, but Proper-Sheppard returned months later to see if his ex-bandmates would be willing to join him back in New York. Amman was the only member to stay behind.
Through numerous turns of events, the trio ended up in London. Somewhere along the line, they changed their name to God Machine and played their first official gig in early 1991. After a debut EP for Eve, the band signed to Fiction and released two more EPs in 1992. The full length Scenes From the Second Storey appeared in 1993, featuring remakes of four tracks off the earlier EPs. A monstrous double record, its (un)holy racket and scope serve the band's name perfectly. A year later, GM had completed recording and mixing a follow-up LP when Fernandez fell victim to a brain tumor. Saddened and devastated, Proper-Sheppard and Austin opted to call it a day. The sessions for the fine second album, One Last Laugh in a Place of Dying, saw release in 1995. Propper-Sheppard set up the Flower Shop label, putting out records from the likes of Elevate, Ligament, and Swervedriver. He also began recording a year later as Sophia. ~ Andy Kellman