Marmozets / Drones [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 19/8/14]
When a Saturday night bill is only two bands long, that’s a lot of pressure for the musicians involved. Many acts would crumble like month-old birthday cake at the thought of it. These guys were more than up for the challenge:
All live photos © Jack Goodrum / Rock Harder Images
Having seen Drones a number of times, I knew what to expect – raw, loose-limbed and awesome punk antics delivered with a ton of aggression and tour-honed precision. However, Drones still pushed themselves that much further this time around, with a crowdbound frontman taking his vocals and guitar to the people despite a mid-set admission of total exhaustion. As always with Drones, respect is due.
About ten years ago, after a pretty bad breakup, I watched a storm cloud expand vertically like some kind of ominous sky-volcano before the thunder started. Marmozets’ doom-laden intro music, had it existed then, would have been the perfect soundtrack to that moment. What followed, for many pit-loving punters and their less-frenzied-yet-appreciative comrades, was a tight, math-riddled piece of pure catharsis.
Marmozets mean what they say and play at a level of depth that makes their success to date no surprise whatsoever. This is a band who do not fuck around – although they do possess a sense of humour, their work ethic shines through with lucid clarity at all times. Whether it’s the voicebox-tearing hook of Why Do You Hate Me?, the Reuben-esque riffs of Move, Shake, Hide, or a Dillinger Escape Plan-inspired older tune, you can practically taste the thousands of hours of practice behind such a shit-the-bed intense performance.
There’s currently a fair amount of online talk about Marmozets turning into Paramore clones – but frankly, such comments should be written down, chucked in the Lazy Bullshit Comparison Bin, and set on fire. Stand (or mosh) through Marmozets’ set and you’ll hear a vocalist in possession of Matt Bellamy’s highs, Greg Puciato’s screams and rhythms, Karen O’s attitude, Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s general lack of fuck-giving and (yes) a mastery of occasional Hayley Williams-esque pitch bends, as well as a bunch of still-unreleased songs that take a very different tack to the Paramore-signature pop-punk of Riot! or All We Know Is Falling.
Latest single Captivate You may sound somewhat unalike Good Days, but that’s solely an indicator of Marmozets’ diverse musical capabilities, not a concrete omen of things to come. If this set was anything to go by, what’s to come is presently unimaginable unless you’ve actually gotten down to a Marmozets show and experienced it first-hand. If you get the chance to do that, do it – there is nothing like experiencing unique music slammed directly into your ears by a band whose bassist, guitarist and drummer (with full kit) ended the set playing in the middle of the crowd.
Whatever you do, don’t settle for yet another shaky-cam low-def video on YouTube. Real life comes with free 3D effects and hi-def visuals, there are no “Resume Living In Three Seconds” ad breaks – and billions of live streams are taking place right now. Be someone who stars in their own stream rather than watching other people’s.
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