Album Reviews

Marshall Poole: The Misconception (2013)

Marshall Poole

When Marshall Poole released their first official EP, The Misconception, on November 26th, 2013, the bar for alternative-indie blues/rock bands in the Northwest area was raised forever. In their first track, “Crosstops,” vocalist and lead guitarist, Rider Soran, sets the stage for the entire record as he screams “Wanna get wild?” And as the first track of the record, “Crosstops” does what it is meant to do— grabbing the attention of every listener with its memorable lyrics and energetic blues guitar riffs in good Chuck Berry and George Thorogood fashion.

But “Crosstops” is just the beginning. Marshall Poole is not a band that releases an EP with one great single and four other fillers. Rather, every song is tight and the record just gets better and better as it spins around the proverbial turntable. The next three tracks, “Means of Freedom,” “Take,” and “Tie My Hands,” feature vocalist and bassist, Melanie Radford. Alongside her bassist prowess, Radford’s vocals are often reminiscent of the great Patti Smith. Starting with a subdued bluesy bass line, mumbled speech, and sliding-scratching guitar parts from Soran, chills become inevitable as Radford leans forward into the mic and sings the opening line of “Take,”

“Take her heart,

Or take everything

I know you know there’s no between.”

While all of the tracks on The Misconception are great, “Take” is the one track to have on hand in the chance of being stranded on a desert island or facing a worldwide apocalypse. “Take” is not only satisfying musically and lyrically, but also pushes and pulls it’s listeners as the pure-blues track builds in intensity with the help of drummer, Michael Hoobery.

With the last track of the record, Marshall Poole throws away their seriousness and lets-loose with “Younger Generation” as they sing, “the younger generation’s always high.” While this track isn’t as mesmerizing as some of the other tracks on the record, “Younger Generation” is still just as tight—its’ lyrics are clever, the guitar solos are well-played by Soran, and Hoobery hits the record home on drums and helps give the track the fun, playful vibe it possesses.

With their debut five track EP, The Misconception (2013), Marshall Poole has elevated the standard for what good indie-blues/rock records can and should be—and for all of the members being 19-20 years old—Marshall Poole sounds like a band wise beyond their years in this EP—and also like one on the cusp of success.

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