Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ian Marquis Channels The 1980s on Faces From The Static

It’s always refreshing to hear new music, especially alternative artists that work within a framework of creativity that is missing from a lot of modern records. Ian Marquis does just that on his release “Faces From The Static” and it really does take you back a more transformative time in music.

The album features a mix of different tones, with a focus on songwriting from the ground up. It has a very moody and interchanging presence, without taking you away from a creative standpoint. The opening track sets you up for a nice trip down to the 1980s alternative acts like The Jesus and Mary Chain, without the fuzz and noise of “Psychocandy”. “Hide and Seek” is a good opener that really sets up a lot more creative turns down the record including “Help Me Make It To The Night”, “Venus Aphasia” and much more.

With this album you get a taste of synthetic sounds, keyboards, guitar, guitar work, heavy drumming at times, and a lot of attention to the sound and design of the layers. This is very much an intricate work that you’d swear took a five piece to make, and hone into a release. It’s really something that you would expect to see while crate digging with your pal sir Jorge (me).

The sonic shift on track 6 is where I start to really think this record could be one of the biggest hidden gems of 2013. “Underground” encompasses INXS’s “Devil Inside” without being an emulation or a cover. It’s obviously a different song, and it’s not at all the same, but it has this embodying tonality that comes along with that single and guitar work that even U2 fans would enjoy.

There are 12 tracks total in “Faces From The Static” and it’s incredible to hear something with so many good songs. Every song could be its own single. This is very much an alternative classic, with a lot of different elements working together. The guitars, drums, bass, and vocals all melt together into a true 1980s sound but not without elements from the early 90s thrown in for good measure. Fans of U2, INXS, Jesus and Mary Chain, Joy Division, and many other icons from the college radio explosion of the late 1980s and early 1990s will find this to be a refreshing sound. Ian Marquis does one hell of a job creating a lavish sound, that doesn’t hold back, and is really something that should be heard by all fans of music. I was definitely surprised and impressed by the way this album flows, especially from an independent release. “Faces From The Static” is by far one of the better indie releases I’ve heard to come up with this sound, without being a carbon copy. It’s all new, it’s refreshing, and yet it has a feel of nostalgia that you won’t find with a lot of other acts right now.

You can listen to “Faces From The Static” here, or you can buy the record from Amazon here. I recommend it.

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