So it may only be January, but we’re already getting what looks to be arguably one of the most important rock records of the year coming in the form of Marmozets’ Knowing What You Know Now.
The album sees them follow up their hugely successful 2014 debut The Weird and Wonderful; an album that saw the Yorkshire-based group burst onto the scene with their explosion of indie, garage rock and post-hardcore and also led many to believe (myself included) that with a band like Marmozets making the waves they did, rock music may just make its way back to the forefront of popular culture once again.
After playing their last show of The Weird and Wonderful album cycle on the main stage at 2015’s Reading and Leeds Festival, the band took a lengthy hiatus to write and record what would become Knowing What You Know Now.
After all the expectations laid on the bands shoulders due to the success of their debut and the talk of a possible case of ‘second album syndrome’ in one form or another, I’m able to say that one of rock music’s most exciting bands has thoroughly smashed it out of the park and then some on this release.
The album opens up with two of the three singles we were treated to in the build-up to the anticipated release: Play and Habits. Play gives the album a thumping start with its energetic nature and whilst Habits has a moodier feel in places, the energy from the first track is definitely carried on with this tune.
The energetic start doesn’t stop there as the third track Meant To Be is another rager with its main riff being one of my favourites on the entire album. Next up is the third single Major System Error which sees vocalist Rebecca MacIntyre, who’s already on tremendous form so far, take it to the next level for the first time on the album. The high pitch emphasis on the ‘Can you keep it together?’ line in the chorus really shows Becca’s ability to take the musical canvas created by the band and take it that step further towards being the amazing rock song it becomes.
Insomnia is up next and is by far the moodiest track to feature on the record so far, complete with a clean, strummed guitar throughout, vibrato-drenched guitar lines popping up and another out of this world vocal performance from Becca making this a standout moment on the record, one of the best songs Marmozets have ever written. The first half of the album is finished off with Lost in Translation which sees the energetic nature of the first few tracks return with an upbeat, punky feeling to it’s riffing. A tune that’s sure to really flourish in the live set, if added.
The second half kicks off with Start Again. Whilst being one of the weaker tracks on the album its still an entertaining listen and the chorus riff has a really catchy groove to it. The band ramp up the creativity on the next track Like a Battery that features almost vaudevillian-esque pitch-shifted guitars. A really fun song that features some top class guitar work whilst showcasing the band’s versatility exceptionally well.
New Religion really hammers home the talents of the band’s rhythm section as they manoeuvre through riff to riff, driving behind one and laying off to add groove to others. The riff that comes out of nowhere at the end of this track is unsurprisingly amazing. Me and You is another slow song that features some truly stunning guitar work through a glistening clean tone soaked in reverb as well as another world-class vocal performance, a recurring theme throughout the album.
Suffocation is the second to last song on the album and is again of the high quality we’ve come to expect from Marmozets. Featuring some excellent vocal trade-offs between Becca and her brother Sam, a superb fuzzed up guitar tone and a real earworm of a chorus, Suffocation is another excellent track. The album ends with Run With The Rhythm. Equipped with clean, picked guitar lines and explosive choruses, it really is the triumphant crescendo the album deserves.
At the start of the year, I had this album in amongst my top 5 most anticipated albums for this year and it’s delivered on every level.
The band have taken the sound of their first album and improved it with with a few tweaks here and there, as well as throwing in a few surprise experiments that more than pay off.
On top of a band that’s firing on all cylinders, one that puts in a top-notch performance, you have Becca cement herself as one of the best vocalists in rock music without a doubt. Her ability to take the bands musical canvas to new heights is out of this world and Knowing What You Know Now sees her, along with the rest of the band find THEIR sound, a sound that is unmistakably Marmozets and a sound that will surely continue to make waves amongst the mainstream.
Time will tell whether this is album of the year material but you wouldn’t be wrong to bet it’s going to be there or thereabouts, come the end of the year.
Best Tracks: Habits, Insomnia