This week we look at the latest releases from Marian, Road Head and USSE.
Marian – Marian
As an audio engineer, Dylan Ward has worked with an incredible range of bands. From singer-songwriters to chaotic punk rock, his ear has been helping shape the sounds of Fredericton for the past few years. And so there is little doubt the many opportunities he has had to watch and listen to such a wide array of artists has had a major effect on his own songwriting. That, and the fact that he has also been performing with a pretty tight group of impressive players for just as long.
Known to some as a member of David In The Dark and Brookside Mall, the self-titled debut from Marian finds Ward taking a break from bass guitar duties and stepping closer to the mic. Channeling his inner Tom Petty with nods to The Sadies and Joel Plaskett, this three track EP is nothing short of impressive. Each song carries a high level of excitement built upon great arrangements and big guitar leads that both work to support Ward’s voice and his songwriting. Marian could very well be the most satisfying 11 minutes you’ll find on the internet this week, this month or this summer. It’s a skillful exploitation of our universal weakness for good hooks and catchy songwriting.
Road Head – KIDZLUVEM
Where the hell did Road Head come from? I was deep into this album from the first track, My First Pistol, and its full-on assault on my senses with rapid guitar guiding a thick cloud of frantic drumming, random audio samples, and more starts, stops and breakdowns that anyone could count. As the album progresses, KIDLUVEM swerves back and forth between the opening track’s hardcore energy and gritty pop punk with a few welcomed outliers for good measure.
This album makes me incredibly happy.
USSE – Free Speech Apologist Technologies / Christian Right Object
Underground Jazz? Reverse Pop? Sub-Dub? While I always struggle to find words to describe what USSE are doing, I continue to look forward to each new release from this Saint John ensemble. Their free form approach to composition is most often structured around a hypnotic bass line or other repetitive rhythm layered with an endless palette of instrumentation and occasional anarchist mantras and poetry. Deep thoughts that go to 11.
The band have a new album coming out later this month and if the new single, Free Speech Apologist Technologies is any indication, Flowers For S will prove a challenging and rewarding listen. The world needs more USSE.
Send us your Music!
If you are a New Brunswick artist or group, have new music on the way and would like to be considered for a future edition of Midweek Music Mix, send us the details at gridcitymagazine(at)gmail.com