Nicholas Johns (vocals/guitar), Eric Riotte (bass), and Shane O'Connell (drums) are the three members of the band Marvelous Liars. The band recently released their debut album entitled Another Castaway, which is a pretty straightforward rock album that draws comparisons to a number of different yet closely related styles and bands. Some of the songs reminded of me of Weezer but bands like Queens Of The Stone Age as well as The White Stripes came to mind.
Within that mix of bands you have power pop, hard rock and blues. Marvelous Liars still seem to be figuring out their own style on Another Castaway but they sound good doing it. The songs are well written if fairly simplistic but are also well delivered. Johns is a solid singer with an attractive style that can adapt. He is dynamic and knows when to push and pull. Musically, the band is pretty tight. The songs revolve mostly around basic chords but there are usually a good amount of changes and the guys play in the pocket.
The album is consistent in terms of quality. If you like the first song you will most likely appreciate the rest. After a brief intro entitled “The Beginning” the band launches “Unwritten Future.” Once the chorus hits, you will know why I mentioned Weezer. Nonetheless the song is pretty easy on the ears.
“Highway Skies” is a success that is certified hard rock. The handclaps were a solid addition and not overused. Johns put some thought into his lyrics as they are quite visual when he sings, “I spent the past life keeping' plans, But now the motor just burns, With white knuckles and a tight-gripped hand.”
One of the highlights on the album entitled “Better” is when the band doesn’t rock out as hard. The verse is clean and concise as Johns delivers some of his most memorable vocal harmonies. “Waves Crashed” is Stroke-esque garage rock that they pull off with relative ease. As the album progresses the band continues to showcase their versatility with songs such as “You're No Angel.”
Marvelous Liars are stuck in the same boat a lot of new bands are in. They have talent; they have skill but aren’t bringing much we haven’t heard to the table before. Suffice it say they built a solid foundation with their debut. If they can define why Marvelous Liars deserves your attention on their next effort, I will be all ears.
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