Shaking Hands with Savages

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Music Review Monday: Marshburn – Miss Spelled for Emphasis


Marshburn - Miss Spelled for Emphaisis

Marshburn – Miss Spelled for Emphasis

In order to get a better perspective on something, sometimes you just have to walk away from it for a little bit and forget about it a while. This is advice that has been told to many a person struggling to get past an obstacle. What goes on in our heads during this process? I like to think there are a panel of little brain elves discussing the issue at hand, with little Powerpoint presentations complete with bar graphs, pie charts, and terrible clip art…. sorry. Sadly, what’s really going on is a series of subconscious problem solving processes handling the more difficult stuff. Thus, by the time you are ready to work out the problem, you have an idea of where to start. This is what happened to me when I first played Miss Spelled for Emphasis on my computer. The first thing that caught me were the layers and layers of sound upon which the albums rests. The dissonance inherent in each track, which balances out the garage rock inspired sounds, that harken back to the salad days of rock&roll. There was almost too much to take in as far as the album went, so after the initial three listens I put down the album to figure out whether or not I liked it.

Some will undoubtedly call Marshburn’s debut album a mess, I’d call it a cluster of horizon expanding sounds that will appeal to a ravenous cult of odd music lovers. This is dirty progressive rock without the pretense and musical elitism that is typically associated with the genre. The fact of the matter is this is the type of music that takes creative risks, and more often than not succeeds where other fail. If taking risks means throwing in a conversation about the nature of the humanity in regards to our collective attraction to lust and violence , then so be it i.e “Clone the Sand witches.” Hey why not throw a trumpet in there while you are at it, and couple that with enough guitar reverb to shatter car windows and ear drums alike. This is what makes this type of music so damn enjoyable; the non adherence to any set of established guidelines when it comes to expression. So I say bring on the weirdness in full force and turn up the volume while you are at it.

Marshburn takes cues from O’Brother in terms of aggressive grungy guitar playing; the songs can go from the warbly weirdness that is associated with most modern prog bands, to straight up metal styled freakouts. In the vocal department Shayan has a similar, but more interesting delivery than Eric Sean Nally of Foxy Shazaam. I’d say the key difference is Shayan is less guttural and more airy; but don’t let his sometimes quiet delivery fool you, as the man can wail like a banshee if necessary. The drumming is crisp and refined , and there are some really funky bass lines throughout, but especially in “The Ghost Of Yesteryear Part 2.” The guitars are one part math-rock in terms of technicality, and the other part shoegaze in terms of distortion effects and reverb; making most of the songs sound mechanical yet mesmerizing. “The ghost Of Yesteryear Part 2” and “E-Shaman” flow into one another kicking off the album exquisitely. At the tail end of the album rests the beast that is “Retrospective” spanning nearly 10 minutes; the song feels like a truncated jam inspired recap of the highlights from all of the previous songs, and ends the album on an exceptionally high note.

A conglomerate of outrageous harmony, an album that requires multiple listens, poignant thought provoking moments interspersed amongst the seemingly chaotic melodies, and expert instrumentation. These four elements makes Miss Spelled for Emphasis a must listen to album. It will undoubtedly get labelled culty, and I’d say that there are people out there who are predisposed to liking this “type” of music. However, I’d also argue that if others would give it a chance they’d undoubtedly come to the same conclusion that I have, which is, Miss Spelled for Emphasis needs to be in the immediate vicinity of anything that is created for the sole purpose of playing music LOUDLY. Why? Well, to break my editorial tone, because it f!@#$*g rocks!

Overall Score: 4.5/5

Standout Tracks: E-Shaman , Nilbog , Retrospective

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2013 by in Music Review and tagged , , , , , , .

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