Having grown up on a steady diet of classic rock before finding my own taste in various alternative subgenres, it’s clear that there’s a lot of promise and potential harbored By Birmingham’s Marstone, and such within the four tracks on offer here, though just how clear that varies from track to track.
This stems largely from the fact that this is an EP comprised of singles, as opposed to a body of work, with each track aiming to showcase a different side an aesthetic to Marstone than the previous, veering from psych to alternative, to sludgy stoner rock with little regard for cohesion.
Taken on their own merit, however, and things work a little better. “Psychedelic Improvisation” is five minutes of rumbling bass and buzzsaw guitars that entwine perfectly to create a cloying sense of claustrophobia, unfortunately, the aggressive vocal shares more in common with bands like Silverchair and as such feels a little out of sorts with the track’s narcotic dystopia.
Elsewhere, ‘Bout Myself’ fairs better, the track’s inherently grungey nature doing far more to suit the vocal than the aforementioned, it’s dynamic exploration forging impressive peaks and troughs, while ‘Nevermore’ once again serves to bolster the track’s Muse-esque vocal delivery.
Though the idea of showcasing their different aesthetics is certainly a noble idea, and an ambitious one, it’s clear that Marstone favour the weightier, grungier side of alt-rock and as a result it’s here that the band’s talent is most evident.
Indeed, while it’s difficult to take the four tracks as a full body of work, it makes sense to view them as a band testing new waters and finding their footing. The result is four tracks that thankfully hit more than miss, while showcasing exactly where Marstone’s strengths lie.