Review Summary: Despite an average age of 17, Marmozets sure aren't monkeying arou-
Nowadays it seems you can't walk down the road without bumping into a new band, sometimes "the next big thing" as championed by Kerrang!, NME and those cool kids you have on Facebook. Usually young, usually similar and usually average, it seems the UK's "booming" new music scene is currently made up of different flavoured ready bands commonly labelled "Pop Punk", "Metalcore" or "Indie". And much like a supermarket takeaway; these bands usually leave a cheap taste in the mouth, but one that you always really expected.
Taking a quick look at the Leeds family quintet Marmozets may arise the same suspicions. Make no mistake, this band ARE young. This band DO look fairly similar to the rest of the rabble too. But cheap takeaway act Marmozets are not, this band are more like an organic egg in the shopping trolley of the young UK scene. Ahem, moving on. Taking a good listen to the band's second release Vexed, is an experience. The most obvious comparison to make is that Marmozets are like Rolo Tomassi's younger siblings: they have the chaotic math metal sound, the all screaming all dancing female front-lady, but this is very much a band of their own and man, they know it. The pleasant feel from Vexed's heart-warming price of £2.50 doesn't last long, as Vexed is 6 (real) tracks of full sonic assault from the go. Changing effortlessly from blitz mathcore passages to grungy garage choruses, Marmozets show a clear genuine talent and experience far beyond their years and one that many of their contemporaries should begin to take essays on. The guitar work from axemen Sam MacIntyre and Jack Bottomley is nothing short of astonishing for ones their age, demonstrating clear ability in both the epileptic note attacks of opener "Onemanwolfpack" and dissonant crunching riffs of "Realise Real Eyes Real Lies". The pair show clear progression from the band's début Passive Aggressive, making this pair's future a very exciting prospect indeed. A point to make is that despite the band's "core" affiliation, Vexed has a distinct lack of muted chug breakdowns, the band instead opting for balls out kitchen sink breaks influenced by the aforementioned Eva Spence group, a technique that works well and thanks to the guitar work, doesn't really grow tired.
The rhythm section manned by the 6 string's respective brothers Jack and Will is, while not ground-breaking, solid and exciting enough to keep things moving. The bassist does show a great potential however but sadly the low end is less prominent in the mix, which does detract from his moments in the spotlight ("9/11/10 -12:13") as well as making the album quite treble-heavy. The instrumental backbone of Marmozets shows extreme talent from all members and it really is quite an impressive display from the teens, plus a definite step forward. With this said, it is apparent that the boys all constantly want to stand out and at some moments the band are fighting for space, though these moments are rare and short. With a little patience however, the band can rise up even further and besides, there's vocals here too. Front lady Becca MacIntyre is a dynamite force throughout the EP, leading the chaotic math attacks with a searing high scream before switching to a garage punk yelp reminiscent of a British Karen O and be your own PET's Jemina Pearl. Miss Macintyre makes no attempt to emulate the angelic voices of her fellow female lead girls, instead opting for an angry, straight and honest delivery that really adds to the garage rock verses, such as those found in "Duels". While the delivery is fantastic though, it's a pity the lyrics don't really match the quality of musicianship on show, twice mentioning a similar "Mr Cool" and "Mr Nice Guy" in two separate tracks. While suitably angry, a little humour wouldn't go amiss.
Despite the few drawbacks, Vexed is an outstanding release from an outstanding young band. While at it's heart a mathcore record, it is the times where the band venture off that the EP really stands out, mixing both madness and a down to earth sensibility in one. Exciting, crazy and fun, Vexed is one hell of a ride.