Marylebone - Monster of Energy
Chris Tapley 04/08/2010
Marylebone or Dr. Even as he also calls himself is a massively frustrating chap, as I'm sure there's an interesting album lurking in here somewhere but it's crushed by a mystifying lack of restraint. The opening track begins promisingly with an atmospheric bassline, shimmering guitar melody and bubbling textured synths combining to sound like Head on the Door era The Cure. The first minute has a delightfully lethargic groove, but the muffled vocals kick in and all but destroy that with their complete lack of character or emotion. The the whole track collapses in to a sorry parody of some absurd industrial/post-hardcore hybrid, all of a sudden there are no dynamics and no textures and everything is plays out on one utterly uninspiring level.
'Ko-Zo' flirts with the kind of vapid trance-metal that Pendulum excel in, but it ends up more like Mindless Self Indulgence minus the self awareness. Whilst the segue from machine gun drumming in to tranquil guitar is a neat transition it's also far too isolated a moment of inspiration. The buzzing synth lead of '13 Seconds to Interview A Rolling Head' is an aural abomination, I like some noise but there is no substance or aim apparent here, just messy composition. Very occasionally, like on Eye of Eyes there's a decent pop song creeping out from beneath the wealth of effects but yet again it is quickly crushed by ill advised breakdowns and yelped vocals. The distant drums and ambience at the opening of 'Three “L”S Plan' almost leads to a worthy ballad, but rather than sticking with that tone it's ramped up in to a more high tempo track and ends up jarring horribly back and forth.
Dr Even seems to think he is some kind of sonic pioneer, making music unparalleled by mere humans but in reality this is a hollow impersonation of far more intelligent sonic experiments with electronic music produced by the likes of Venetian Snares. If Marylebone were to stop trying to cram his songs so full of conflicting ideas then there may be an artist worth taking a passing interest in here, but as it is I found this album somewhat of an ordeal to sit through in it's entirety. There's a sickly sheen all over the production which seems to render almost all of the sounds horribly cheesy, and drains practically all humanity out of the vocals. I haven't heard any of his previous output so I can't judge how genuine an outlet this is but it sounds so pathetically similar to the kind of abrasive dance sound which Pendulum and The Prodigy have made massively popular again that I can't help but hear this as a bit of a bandwagon jumper.