Marlin's Dreaming - Quotidian (Self Released)

Marlin’s Dreaming – Quotidian (Self Released)

Considering ‘Cabbage Tree‘, the opening track on Kiwi band Marlin’s Dreaming‘s second album, sounds at the beginning like They Might Be Giants staring pensively out of a rain-lashed window, it is something of a surprise when the huge melody of its chorus kicks in. It’s steeped in the cooler sounds of the 1980s, a lot of Jesus and Mary Chain reverb going on there, while the melody itself reminds me, quite bizarrely, of Wah! I say bizarrely because in truth, it sounds not one jot like Pete Wylie‘s old outfit. It’s just that it has the same heart.

But that’s just the welcome mat of the album, and certainly not representative of what’s going on here throughout. By the time we’ve arrived at track four, ‘Lick The Brains‘, things have been well and truly stripped back, at least on its verses, which seem quite pretty, but then those caterwauling guitars burst in again and you’re suddenly in the basement of a dingy club somewhere, and you can literally FEEL the sweat dripping from the walls. There’s something very claustrophobic about these songs, but they possess a warm edge that makes them easy to love. A similar ‘soul tingle’ that you might get from a record by The War On Drugs. One thing’s for sure though – even though I mentioned the 1980s earlier, you won’t find any of the humorous tongue in cheek bonhomie here that you’d associate with The Smiths. No, Marlin’s Dreaming come across as rather more serious than that, almost to a fault. They’re so good at this stuff though, that it doesn’t really matter. It’s an enjoyable record, even if things start to plod along aimlessly around halfway through. I mean, they’re still foot-tappers, but they’re certainly not ‘mixtape musts’.

The tail end of Quotidian, notably ‘Mr. Sun‘ and ‘Moth Eyes‘, suggests that Marlin’s Dreaming have spent a fair bit of time listening to Abbey Road, or at least the earliest output of Pink Floyd. It’s all well and good, but the band are at their best when their guitars are at maximum resonance and redolent of shoegaze spirit of Chapterhouse, so the closing number, ‘Filling In Time‘ is a joy to behold, like the latter band performing a classic Cure B-side.

If you’re the type of listener who likes to turn out the lights and lie on the bed with the music drowning out the world outside your window, then Quotidian might well be for you.

Quotidian is self released on 24th April.

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