Tell It To The Marines – Bridges EP
Record Label: All Aboard Records
Release Date: December 14, 2009
Looking through a friend’s 25,000-song iTunes catalogue yesterday yielded an interesting quote. When asked why he had so much music, he simply responded, “I used to be all about music. It was my life.” I stopped him to clarify his usage of the past tense. Why did he not identify as that person anymore? His answer again was simple, “Time.” Light bulb; I too have seen my free hours diminish since July, when whole weekends would be set aside for new music injection. Now they are comprised of marathon meetings with creative partners, gun-head-bang brainstorming sessions and, well, sleep. Please don’t cry for me, though; the only reason I sound disgruntled is because my sleep/food intake has been meager as of late. But this go-go-F**KING GO lifestyle has changed me for the better. By necessity I have learned to pick and choose whom to trust, well, at least musically. When a member of this shadowed, hallowed organization says the right thing, I jump with fervor. I jump to bands like Tell It To The Marines and their atmospheric, we hate AND love Brand New EP, Bridges.
And perhaps it’s a death sentence for me to write such an asininely self-centered first paragraph, because nobody knows this band and I didn’t exactly sell them very well. (I guess, heh, advertising school hasn’t had the impact I imagined). Honestly though, this is that refreshing kind of catchy. You remember songs but you can’t pinpoint an exact node of catchiness. It all runs together in the, “I just like it!” sort of way. Although, it’s not hard to picture a packed show in their sleepy (I assume it’s sleepy!) county of Suffolk with a bunch of disgruntled coal miners’ kids (I assume there’s coal!) singing to every enchanted word.
Just the way “Fireworks” begins, with its grunginess smashing head on into the warbling notes of John Phillips’ lead guitar, signals an interesting interpretation of dark indie rock. The real surprise comes when Timi Hyland enters with his proudly British accent and deep baritone. His punk vocals are a wonderful counterpoint to the calculated instrumental sections, and his lyrics, while overly morbid, leave an impression: “The king and queen / Have fallen by my side / I am standing by my side / With a bullet and cyanide / You took my blood / And turned it into wine / Got drunk and drove home / Oho, what a surprise.” That’s some terrifying theatre of the mind right there.
Like their English brethren Bayonets, Tell It To The Marines use the sweeping influences of “popular” “indie” music from both sides of the pond. It’s always nice to hear young English bands because they have the good fortune of hearing a wider array of music. Every band we get, they have. Most bands they have, we know nothing about. So as an American enamored with everything that rainy country has to offer, this album misses rarely, if ever. The needling riff of “Flare Guns” hints at post-punk craziness. “My New Best Friend” two-steps its way into drunken backing vocals and a dark bridge. Songs come packaged with scenes, not choruses. The difficulty in reworking an overdone, often melodramatic genre should count for a whole hell of a lot. And here it does.
Recommended If You Like: Brand New, Bayonets, syndicates, other stuff like "that", mobs with knives
I love you. I think you're a great reviewer. If you were in a burning building, I'm sure I'd save you from the flames. I expect, if ever the necessity rose, that I could even bear you your offspring...
But this review (specifically the first paragraph), really hurts the logic gland in my head.