Review Summary: Irish wonderlabel Richter Collective give us another unpolished gem in the form of Danish math rock with an offbeat poppy flair. Dare to challenge themselves further and Marvins Revolt could be one to look out for in the future.
Released on the increasingly awesome Richter Collective label (Adebisi Shank, Bats, Cats and Cats and Cats), Marvins Revolt’s Killec
continues in the same tradition as many of the label’s other bands. Explosively energetic and ridiculously infectious, Killec sees the Copenhagen-based three-piece experimenting with bipolar time signatures and breezy melodies to craft cunningly crooked riffs, slicing them and dicing them into a hot pot of delicious vocals, propulsive drums and, of course, the ever-popular handclaps. As well as acquiring the energy, drive and knack for writing a damn catchy song which many other outfits on the Irish label possess, this Danish trio seem to have also accumulated a great deal of that special Irish charm that surges through the Richter Collective’s veins.
From the off, with ‘Deliberate Deeds’, the mathematical-turned-fantastical qualities present on Killec are given centre stage – contagious handclaps, technical but cheerful guitars, and sing-along lyrics constantly drive the opener forward, always keen on keeping things upbeat and inventive but never losing focus. The jaunty, joyous rockings of ‘New Year in Warsaw’ carries on in the same style, pouring out the crunching drums to rally with the rollicking riffs, indicating again that Marvins Revolt can handle the essence of pop, hooks-a-plenty, without overdoing the sugar. ‘Add.Edit.Kill’ is the album’s obligatory ‘slow-down’ track, allowing the listener to take a breather and see the band’s gentler side, with sweet mathy melodies trickling over a small section of simple piano keys. Despite the indie-math rock tag, the tracks never even come close to treading the inviting waters of pretentiousness, a very good thing indeed.
The most obvious criticism that can be levelled against Marvins Revolt is that this is nothing new. These guys do what they do well, for sure, but I could quite as easily listen to Tubelord, Adebisi Shank, or This Town Needs Guns (though not the borefest of Animals). Killec does show apparent differences to those bands, the vocals are easily identifiable, their approach is more carefully structured than some, and the energy, hopefulness, and confidence on display shines much more brightly. But in the end, there’s not a whole lot to separate them from their peers and their current rivals. Furthermore, there’s a homogeneity to their sound right now which seems to plague many of the bands within their ever-populated genre. It’s a great thing they’ve got going with their bubbly and anthemic technical charm, but with so much of it the album becomes bogged down. It would be nice to see them experimenting and challenging themselves with different sounds and moods.
‘Times Will Change’, though, with its wonderful choir-chanted chorus and lively, darting guitars, is enough proof for me to label this band one to keep a close eye on. Quirky and fun, daring yet never pretentious, Marvins Revolt hammer their hooks firmly into your skull with their nifty guitarwork and memorable vocals and then proceed to swing from these hooks with excellent, offbeat pop songwriting flair and a confidence which, with the right attitude, will soon see them soaring to the top of the genre, leaving their contemporaries craning their necks. Killec
is worth your time, give it a shot.