Mars Red Sky
Stranded in Arcadia


4.0
excellent

Review

by Finbar USER (22 Reviews)
May 5th, 2014 | 31 replies


Release Date: 04/28/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mars Red Sky step up the fuzz for a joyous bout of psychedelic rock.

Managing to stand out in the stoner/psychedelic rock crowd is an impressive feat, with all the legions of Hawkwind, Kyuss and Pink Floyd rip-offs out there. This is precisely how Mars Red Sky managed to make a splash with their self-titled debut, having clearly spent hours perfecting a unique guitar tone and utilising Julien Pras' high-range tenor (reminiscent of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker), whose vocals gave the band an unusual indie-rock flair.

Whereas the debut flitted between heavy bursts of distortion and slow ethereal passages, for their sophomore effort the band have stepped up the fuzz, dropping most of their indie leanings for an album of colossal sound and heaviness from the outset of 8-minute opener The Light Beyond. Possibly the album's highlight, the track showcases the best of the band's development in making infectious grooves and how they have developed as musicians, Matgaz's swirling drum patterns creating intensity and scale to Jimmy Kinast's extremely prominent wall of bass and Pras' psychedelic wah-wah guitar lines.

Other stand-outs are Hovering Satellites, delivering a similar kind of show with vocals excellently contrasting heaviness and an epic build of a second half, plus Holy Mondays, the chorus of which you'll have stuck in your head for days. The latter song is valuable for the rare variety it brings to the album, featuring a morphing structure that moves from a calm intro to a main riff that comes very close to ripping off Woman by Wolfmother, saved by that particularly poppy chorus that bounces over it.

Evidently, variation is something Stranded In Arcadia lacks and is in fact its greatest downfall. After the blistering instrumental centrepiece Arcadia which feels as if it sums up all the themes found in the first half of the album - psychedelic guitar lines, insanely fuzzy bass and all - the band simply throw more of the same at us. While Circles and Seen A Ghost are great as standalone tracks, it's hard not to feel an element of laziness, with the main riff in that second track eventually becoming irritating, sounding like every single other riff on the album.

Outro song Beyond the Light tops this off with a statement of how much better it could have been, and how much potential Mars Red Sky possess. The swirling 'wind' effect, mesmerizing gentle bassline and return of the album's opening guitar melody, slowly fading out, is a mastery of atmosphere hinted at in many slower points of the album, yet lost in the endless fuzziness.
Should the band apply themselves and expand their musical palette, there is no reason why this album can't be the stepping stone that I thought their debut would be to a masterpiece of psychedelic rock, or Mars Red Sky are in danger of becoming Stranded in monotony.
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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mad.
May 5th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This will annoy the hell out of your neighbours at any volume.

Full album stream: http://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/stranded-in-arcadia

Mort.
May 5th 2014


3682 Comments


sweet review, pos'd

Digging: Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury

Mad.
May 5th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks mah man

Any criticism is always welcome, hit me up

manosg
May 5th 2014


6139 Comments


I liked your remark about variation. Actually, many times I've found stoner/psych albums to be lacking on that department which affects their lifetime value.

Very good write up man, pos.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

Mad.
May 5th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks man. That's what stops this album from being something to value in the long term, it's still worth your time though, you might be interested.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2014


3421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review man, pos. The album gets a bit lazy towards the end but it has some great tunes!

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

Mad.
May 5th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks man. Hope I get featured!

PunchforPunch
May 6th 2014


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ah sweet rev homie

Digging: Robert Hood - Fabric 39

Mad.
May 6th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks a lot man

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 6th 2014


3421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Congrats on the feature man, you deserve it. (I told you if you keep working on your reviews you'll improve)

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2014


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not heard these guys will listen tonight, pos mate nice rev

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

Mad.
May 6th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yay feature, thanks to who did that!

@insomniac thanks man, I definitely feel I'm improving with each review

@mena Thanks man, they're worth your time if not at their peak yet. Sorry to be pushing your review off the front page!

SharkTooth
May 6th 2014


4587 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Must listen

Digging: King Hobo - King Hobo

DoubtGin
May 6th 2014


6752 Comments


debut was cool

Mad.
May 6th 2014


3869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

This is possibly slightly better

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2014


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally got round to listening, sounds really good so far

AngryNeighbor
May 6th 2014


43 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Debut was fucking masterpiece, this album is shame compared to it.

Gyromania
May 6th 2014


15791 Comments


first time hearing of this band but i will check this out. also that album cover rules

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2014


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Debut was fucking masterpiece, this album is shame compared to it."

i need to check that then because this is a solid 3.5 for me

TheSpaceMan
May 7th 2014


2402 Comments


nice review dude, I'm loving this so far



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