With Kiss bass player and famous buffoon Gene Simmons declaring far and wide that “rock is dead” back in 2014, the demise of guitar music looked a rather cut-and-dried case to some. However, those of us with even a cursory eye on what was happening in the (then) here and now know this to be utter bollocks, and even despite the fact that the most popular of the new breed were rather feeble and boring (*cough* Mallory Knox), cross-pollination of genres and a glut of creatively fertile young bands emerged to prove that, if you’re looking in the right places, rock was brimming with more promise than ever before. Although (with depressing predictability) it garnered nowhere near the hype it deserved, The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets did precisely that, sweeping aside their tame and tedious peers with a firecracker display of dynamic pyrotechnics.
In terms of ground covered, this Yorkshire quintet plumb every corner of rock’s rich tapestry. Opener ‘Born Young And Free’ delivers the kind of chest-thumping, arena-ready chorus hook worthy of scene veterans, as infectious as it is anthemic, whereas the laser-guided tech-metal oddity of ‘Vibetech’ recalls a particularly enraged, particularly youthful The Dillinger Escape Plan in a knife fight with Converge and Botch. It is genre leaps such as these that see The Weird And Wonderful… not only endlessly rewarding, but all the more impressive as a debut record, and indeed how Marmozets manage to bring everything that they do into one cohesive, blood-pumping whole is quite remarkable. The likes of ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’ and ‘Is It Horrible’ retain that spiky technical edge with a dancefloor bothering indie streak, the widescreen melodies and snotty swagger of ‘Move, Shake, Hide’ suggest radio domination is easily within their grasp and the mutant balladry of ‘Captivate You’ and closer ‘Back To You’ are heartrendingly sincere.
The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets is still irresistible. With a vocalist that betters any hardcore poser or sappy crooner in the game, not too mention the emphatic instrumental dynamos behind her, this is a record which positively bleeds charm and is awash with ideas – so much so that it deserves to talked about in the company of the very best debut records of all time, a ten out of ten modern classic on impact which unequivocally staked the band’s claim to lead the rock revolution. Marmozets are still unfairly overlooked in mainstream circles, yet remain something truly something special.
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Words: Tony Bliss