Band to Watch: Marmalade Sky

Bristol, UK's Marmalade Sky blends the rocking frustration of The Hives, The Kinks, and subtle hints of art/post-punk outfit Art Brut. They specialize in inflammatory, declarative lyrics and raging, infectious, crunchy guitars. As a result, Marmalade Sky captures the frustrations and volatile energy of youth well. The dirty, unadorned arrangements and compositions are fuel, as much as entertainment, for outcries against spurned love and homogenization of culture. The band also lashes out for complete cultural upheaval in "Rebelling Voices," but lyrics somehow the lyrics here are little too on-the-nose. They do their best work when the messages are more subtle, as in "Showmen" and "Work Till I Die." In both cases, a truly addictive riff, and catchy melody elevates the songs to what they seem to want to be, a sort of fiery post-punk. Both of those are anthems, and good ones. Damn good ones. With "Rebelling Voices" the anthem is there, but it seems too intentional, written to be something, rather than a powerful outburst.

That said, Marmalade Sky comprising Dan Warren (vocalist), Luke Mayo (guitar, vocalist), George Shelton (rhythm guitar), Mike Wilcox (bass guitar) and Jay Ham (drums) has some excellent, at times tongue-in-cheek insight to offer as well. The great "British Boy" is a lyrical masterpiece with vaguely Smiths-esque irony infused. Two versions are available on the band's SoundCloud page, and of the two, I favor the acoustic, where the lyrics resonate longer and the instrumentation is more lush and divergent. "Shaking Bars" is another winner, and the vocals really shine, with rowdy, stilted affectations. It's pure rock and roll. The kind that creates a combination desire to create and destroy... or more simply, fuck and fight. "I'm A Fool" is more power-pop and very reminiscent of the Kinks' stuff in the '60s. It's simple, direct and bold in the way that bold was bold before envelopes were pushed to great perimeters of explicitness. Really, it's refreshing.

Watch this band. Check out the videos embedded above, and hit up Marmalade Sky's SoundCloud page. Heck, "like" them on Facebook while you're at it. If they keep creating new music, some really, really cool shit is going to happen.

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