Joyful Noise Recordings is set to release yet another great album this year, this time by fellow Indiana band Marmoset. Contrary to what you’d expect from a label titled Joyful Noise, the collective of artists rarely warrants the “noise” label. And Marmoset follows suit; their music instead clashes modern garage rock sensibilities with the hazy garage rock of the 60s and 70s.
Throughout Tea Tornado, Marmoset keeps the guitars clean but gravely and the percussion consistently abrupt. “Written Today” and “Come With Me” both have a bouncy feel but err you call them pop — many of Tea Tornado‘s tracks, like “Empty Room”, have the laid back swagger of a right true rock tune, but even at their most bouncy, Marmoset rarely enters the realm of pop. It’s too raw to fit that description.
“Strawberry Shortcakes” and “Peach Cobbler”, despite delicious titles, have the gritty, stripped-down sound made popular by artists like Vaselines. Still, Tea Tornado is not without a few surprises, like the bizarre, fuzzed-out “He’s Been Napping” and the layered vocal parts in “Run Away, Teri”.
Tea Tornado is an excellent window into a group that has weathered nearly a decade and a half (Marmoset was formed in 1995), and still has the ability to pump out an excellent album packed with tracks poised to make the underground garage rock fan drool with delight.
Joyful Noise Recordings [CD, 2009]
1. Written Today
2. Empty Room
3. Strawberry Shortcakes
4. He’s Been Napping
5. Come With Me
8. Peach Cobbler
11. Run Away, Teri
12. You, Blueberry Muffin
13. I Love My Things
14. Oh’ Dear Handlebars