TITLE: KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW
British rock music was in a rather strange place back in 2014. ‘Topman rock’ ruled the alternative world, with bands like You Me At Six and Young Guns being the faces gracing the covers. Then a record called ‘The Weird and Wonderful’ dropped by a small band from Bingley in West Yorkshire called Marmozets. By no means did this album create a ‘Nevermind’ moment, rock music wasn’t saved by ‘The Weird and Wonderful’, but it did boot the door down for slightly off-kilter bands in the eye of the mainstream.
“This is a very different record from Marmozets…”
Four agonising years after the release of their last studio material, the band were hit with several roadblocks and delays, like vocalist Becca Macintyre being sidelined with a knee injury which required surgery. Fast forward to 2018 and Marmozets are back with their sophomore effort ‘Knowing What You Know Now’. Kicking off the album is lead single ‘Play’, octave pedal drenched guitars sit atop a thunderous drumbeat making for an incredibly danceable first single. When ‘Play’ dropped, a few fans were taken aback by the change in sound in favour of a slightly more commercial leaning, yet in context of the record, ‘Play’ truly shines and gets the ball rolling for a wild ride.
While not being as instantly catchy as the first album ‘KWYKN’ delivers a sense of unpredictability that leaves you on the edge of your seat, wondering what twists and turns the record will take. This is especially prevalent in ‘Meant to Be’ in which the incredibly poppy, radio-friendly verses and chorus make way for a bloodcurdlingly screamed bridge.
A highlight on the album is ‘Insomnia’. Marmozets have always had a flair for a slower song, which has been previously showcased on huge tracks like ‘Captivate You’ and ‘Back To You’, yet Insomnia is a different flavour. The chorus soaked lead guitar and gentle vocal melody is drenched in 90’s britpop (Think Beetlebum by Blur), an influence that is from left field, even for Marmozets. Moreover, the inclusion of a rousing orchestra towards the end of the track creates an epic musical backdrop that just didn’t exist previously.
The guitar playing from Jack Bottomley and Sam Macintyre is outstanding, particularly on Major System Error. The track itself takes influence from as far afield as bands like Pendulum, with a fuzzed up, buzzsaw style chorus, beefed up with electronics sitting just under the surface. It’s this scale of ambition that the band have adopted on ‘KWYKN’ that cements them as one of Britain’s top class bands.
Some experiments work incredibly well, some are slightly more head scratching, like the jaunty, layered co-lead vocal in the verses of ‘Like a Battery’. However with repeat listens the pieces start to fit into place, especially when the monolithic riff comes in towards the end of the song.
This is a very different record from Marmozets. It’s not as instant, it’s far poppier, yet somehow they’ve managed to strike gold again. This band are truly special, if you’re going to listen to anything on repeat for the next year, make it this.
WORDS: CALLUM HURST