Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jam of the day: "Rag to a Bull"

Artist: Mariage Blanc
Song: "Rag to a Bull"
Album: Mariage Blanc
Released: November 16, 2010 (nationally), October 8, 2010 (Pittsburgh)

Come on out to the Brillobox tomorrow (Friday) night to catch Mariage Blanc playing some tunes from their new, self-titled LP. There's a cover story in this week's City Paper that details the technical struggles the band overcame to even release this album, in addition to the differences between this and their previous release, the Broken Record EP, in terms of instrumentation, collaboration, recording style, etc. It's a good read; check it out and kudos to Andy Mulkerin for his writing. Local musician extraordinaire David Bernabo also posted a slick-as-all-hell review of the album on his blog; check that out here.

So what's my take? This album is well thought out, perfectly planned, and rewarding upon multiple listens. There's something about the way that the guitar layers play off each other without devolving into chaos nor predictability, and the way that the subtle drum beats drive the novel lyrical constructions that just makes the whole thing incredibly listenable. I was lucky enough to snag an advanced copy of the files for this one (thanks Josh!) and have listened to it every other day for the last couple of weeks striving to find something meaningful to say about this record; it's not broken, for sure, yet it's not earth-shattering. I don't know what else to say except that it's really, really good. It has literally left my speechless in the sense that I can't describe it to you in any meaningful way; I'd much prefer to share a set of headphones with you, spin this record, and stare at each other the whole way through as we nod our heads and say, "Yeah, I dig this." Apologies for being entirely inarticulate about it, but you should really blame Mariage Blanc for that. And you should do that in person, tomorrow night. See you there.

This particular track exhibits the kind of lyrical talent I was referring to above, as well as the switcheroo from softish, keyboard-led chamber pop to some solid guitar- and bass-driven melodies. It's delectable either way.

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