There isn’t much information out there about Marshmallow Arsenal. I’m pretty sure it’s one guy. The album is called slimmer. It mentions on the bandcamp page it sounds like Beach Boys meet Simon and Garfunkel. To my ears nothing sounded like something you might have heard off of Pet Sounds or reminiscent of Kathy’s Song.
The album starts with an incredibly sad sounding song called “Touch The Eye”. He sings “I just got so high/why do I feel so low”. The lyrics aren’t the only reason it’s such a somber sounding song. I’d say the energy between the rickety guitar and synths combined with the vocal delivery which is sometimes maybe purposely off-key makes for one melancholy opener. It’s not exactly a party song. The best part of the song was the vocal harmonies. “Why don’t you love me anymore”. Luckily, I enjoy myself some melancholy and can respect anyone who opens an album this way.
I couldn’t call this an upbeat album by an stretch of the imagination but there are some songs moving forward that have a different type energy that was brewed in the same pot. Take for instance “Beg And Plead” which while still melancholy has hints of hope and optimism. I also noticed that the vocals sounds a lot different. It might be a different singer. The vocals aren’t as raspy on the first two songs and has other distinct vocal qualities.
This album is experimental in it’s own way. Take for instance a song like “Florence”. The mutating synth in the background constantly fluctuate and had my attention just as much as the vocals. “Devil's Breath” is another song with it’s own perplexing energy. I heard a little bit of Modest Mouse in there. The vocals are quite cathcy after a couple of listens. One of my personal favorites was the instrumental track ‘Air”. I’m not even sure why I liked it but something struck a chord.
You get a lot of reverb soaked melancholy on “Whywhywhywhy” while “Bravery Impact” buzzes with what sounds like kazoos. “Coffin Offer” is the closer and moves at a snail's pace. It sounds like the tail end of an acid trip that just won’t end. I got a sense that things were melting along with an overwhelming sense of dread.
Marshmallow Arsenal isn’t for everyone. That’s just a fact. This music can go a couple shades below somber and some people can’t handle that. The overall energy is the most unique thing about this album. It’s like an anti-energy. The songs often feel like they are floating there. It’s hard to explain but at the very least it’s unique. Some artists just have their own wavelength. This music feels authentic and there is just no denying that. This music isn’t for the faint of heart but it has got something original in there.
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