Knowing What You Know Now, the second album from Yorkshire quintet Marmozets is upon us, and we have some questions. Will it maintain the non-stop, middle finger to your expectations sort of energy we got from the band’s 2014 debut? The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets was full of raw, unpolished and energetic tracks. Has the band now matured and relaxed their songwriting? Let’s find out.
Opening track and first single ‘Play’ certainly bridges the gap from old to new. The machine gun drumming and crunching guitars are all there, tied together by singer Rebecca MacIntyre’s unique vocal deliveries. The initial signs are that Marmozets have successfully managed to evolve and refine their sound while holding on to that captivating ferocity. It’s not something many bands manage to balance so well.
The second track is ‘Habits’, and again, Marmozets brilliantly mix both sides of their personality. As the band drops away for the first chorus, leaving Becca to sing “I get carried away, The day has gone, I want you to stay with me, Just stay with me” almost acapella, you get a glimpse of the variety Marmozets are capable of.
It’s a complete contrast to ‘Major System Error’, which is probably the highlight of the album. Nothing is held back in here, as the band maintains a relentless tempo and only drop the volume briefly to make the impact of other sections all the more exhilarating. Also there’s some lovely brass instrumentation on the outro – who doesn’t love that?
After ‘Major System Error’, things change. As an individual track, I actually really like ‘Insomnia’ – another example of Becca’s vocal range – but the massive drop in tempo so early on in the album (track 5 of 12) feels like a steep climb that we’re not ready for yet.
Both ‘Lost In Translation’ and ‘Start Again’ pick things up again with greater energy and purpose. Despite taking contrasting approaches, they should both be firm favourites when the band hit the live circuit again. ‘Lost In Translation’ is a catchy track sure to get crowds jumping, while ‘Start Again’ is a brooding song with a belting sing along chorus.
I still can’t work out ‘Like A Battery’. It’s just a bit odd. I’m not even sure how to describe or critique it. Something just doesn’t sit right for me. ‘Me & You’ is much easier to get your head around. This is where a slow paced song naturally fits (I’m looking at you ‘Insomnia’). It’s a really simple yet elegant piece of songwriting that reveals a side of the band we don’t get to see very often.
As the curtain closes on ‘Run With The Rhythm’, it’s time to consider how Knowing What You Know Now shapes up when compared to The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets. There’s no doubt the band’s new album contains some career highs (‘Major System Error’ and ‘Play’) but there are also some moments which set the whole album off track.
It was always going to be difficult to top the raw energy and devil may care attitude of Marmozets’ debut album. But for the most part, the band have shown they are capable of evolving and maturing while still holding on to the core of what they do best, which is a good sign for the future of one of the UK’s most exciting bands. Now bring on the live shows!
Sounds Like… A hurricane in a shoebox.