The Marquee - White Room
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: June 1, 2012
When a band sets out to make a record all by themselves, the result is usually exactly what the band intends; the vision of solely the songwriters. That’s the beauty of an indie debut record. No giant corporate label to say it’s not good enough, no big name producer aiming for another gold record; just the sight of the band. This beauty is found all throughout White Room, The Marquee’s debut. The five-piece, consisting of Jordan Jones, Nicole Riley, Blair Brown, Dwayne Ulliac, and Mike Lay, isolated themselves in a garage and recorded it all in just two months. The result? Catchy hooks, shimmering harmonies, pulsating beats, and just about anything else you can ask for in a good ol’ indie/pop/rock record.
The opener, “First Time” opens the door to a variation of things you’ll hear throughout the record. This track is primarily driven by the power of the band’s rhythm section. The Killers Hot Fuss-esque bass riff stands out through the frequent fast paced guitar stumming, along with the pumping drum beat. The next number, “Each and Every Week” starts off misleading with the heavy intro, but it soon turns into quite a happy song. One of the best things about this record are the male/female harmonies between Jones and Riley. They particularly stand out in this track, in which they carry out and resonate within the catchy chorus melody. Though the lyrics are quite somber, with lines such as “Wanna live but I just can’t start living,” the music leaves some room for hope, and you almost want to jump out of your chair and dance. Different feels between music and lyrics can be very hard to pull off, but this track does particularly well. Track three is “Save You,” a highlight for me on the record. The song keeps a solid vibe, with frequent moments of contrast, such as the beautiful bridge section, and the very strong harmonies in the chorus.
Fast-forwarding to the appropriately titled (based on—you know it, the drums) Beating Drums,” the verse holds a solid Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe. The slapped bass line echoes that of Flea, and the vocal styling is also oddly similar to the delivery of Anthony Kiedis. Next is the echoey “Horizon,” which is the first slower song on the record. The music holds up very well during this track, but I feel that Riley’s harmonies are lacking power, slightly weakening the strength of the refrain. The latter half of the record holds up just as well as the first, if not even better, with strong, poppier tracks such as “Can’t Take Mine,” arguably the catchiest and “funnest” track on the record, and “Fall Back In”--- a Jimmy Eat World styled track, but bouncier. The last track is the summery “One Last Time,” closing the record happily, bringing you to a beach like setting.
Overall, White Room is a very solid debut for a band that could clearly grow into bigger things. At this rate, if given the chance, the band in my opinion is greatly destined for a decent amount of success within the indie-rock scene. Some songs are more memorable than others, but in all, it is a very strong debut for The Marquee. Their sound is familiar within the scene, but still has the ability to shine in its own light.