19 Jul 2024

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Marsha - Album Review: In Circles

01 Jul 2024 // A review by Peter K Malthus

Marsha hail from my hometown of Christchurch, and I'm a tad ashamed to say I hadn't actually heard them up until now, but I'd heard many good things about them. In Circles is their debut album, containing some previously released singles, and has been in the works since 2021, and all the painstaking care that was put into its creation is evident in every note of every song.

An angular bass riff, underpinned by solid and adventurous drums brings in 10 4, with the guitar joining on a single repeating note, the sum of which is somewhat jarring. Vocals are low and subdued, and the song slowly opens up with further added layers, before stripping back to guitar and drums, then stopping altogether at around halfway. The song then swiftly reconvenes in earnest, before fading off. In Circles is one of the previous singles and has the band's post-punk sensibilities on full display, a very different musical offering, ably showing their respective instrumental and vocal chops, with an earworm vocal melody. A dreamy, washy instrumental middle section drifts its way into a powerful outro.

Iris has some simply beautiful playing on what is a beautiful song, each of the four members contributing utterly superbly. There's a very cool vocal section at around the two minute point, the whole thing showing some top-notch song crafting. It's another of the previous singles, along with Wide Eyed & Dumb. A big, jangly punk guitar riff with a slick little melody part to boot, no doubt the dancefloor will be loaded for this one, which has some pop-punk elements, but is something on a somewhat grander scale, with more maturity than that description might suggest.

Slow and sombre is the way of things on Streets, the rhythm drags itself almost balefully along, contributing to an atmosphere so haunting, it should be hanging around a Victorian mansion, frightening tourists. By complete contrast, Belcat is soft and reflective, and boasts some gorgeous guitar tones, with some luscious melody guitar parts. Sirens is another in the darkly mellow vein but ramps up a considerable few notches under a strong and soulful vocal section, before dropping down again to its former languid pace, eventually going on to reach a gloriously fuzzed-up outro.

Rear View is something completely different. An entirely instrumental piece of over five minutes in duration, its initial stages are a minimalist synth, creating a blandly pleasant tone. However, that is soon juxtaposed with a sound resembling the terrifying whistle of bombs dropping, which carries on for some time in its disturbing fashion, before gradually fading to an inevitable oblivion.

No Response is the album ender, dreamy softness interspersed with jagged bashing stabs, becoming briefly cohesive before dismantling to leave the bass guitarist to tell the end of the story.

I've heard Marsha described as a band to watch, I wholeheartedly support that suggestion, In Circles is a brilliant album, and I expect to see it taking them places.



In Circles
Year: 2024
Type: Album
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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