It’s always a pleasure to listen to something new, especially when it’s from an artist or group with which I was previously unfamiliar. Things are even better when right off the bat my first thoughts are, “Damn! This sounds good,” and “Is the whole album like this?” Spoiler alert: It is.
A Perfect Reality, the debut album from Marystown was recently released, and it is sure to get some much-deserved attention… I’m looking at you, Tom Power of cbcR2 – it’s really up your alley. The quality of production is exceptional, and, according to their Facebook page, the album “was engineered, mixed, and produced by Terry Paholek and Evan Murray at The Physics Lab and Evan’s home studio in Edmonton, Alberta.”
Evan Murray, the man behind this young band, has a real talent for melding a variety of genres. If I had to give the genre a one word description, it would be “gruntryock”. Yeah, that’s probably not going catch on, but these guys will. It’s apparent with the first two tracks that country, rock and grunge fans alike will enjoy this album. The album’s opener, “Anything for You”, sounds like a classic country song with lead vocals that remind me of Leonard Cohen. In addition, the lyrics that hold weight. The next track, “What You Need”, one of my favourites on the album, reminds me of old school grunge, both musically and vocally. Another favorite of mine is “Hope, Dope or Death,” which is a very country song with contemporary attitude and lyrics to which many can relate. The last track on the album, “Cracked Out Bitch,” sounds like it would be fun to sing along with at a live show, which I hope to do in the not too distant future. The rest of the album is consistent with great music, vocals and lyrics.
Murray doesn’t hesitate to write and sing what he wants. By not trying to commit to a specific genre, he has given himself a lot of breathing room to let his artistic expression flow. As a result, the music will inevitably reach a wider audience. You can hear the many players involved in the recording, and complete list of their names is available on their site. Notably, the lap steel guitar played by Louis Riel Bouchier throughout the album is of top quality and contributes to that country sound we don’t often hear associated with hard rock or grunge.
The cover of the album is simple; a ship’s helm is displayed with the band’s superimposed onto it. It’s reminiscent of the town flag in Newfoundland for which the band is named after. Murray has roots going back to this place and it has heavily influenced his music. Their Facebook and website are quite informative regarding the band’s formation, each providing information about their upcoming tour. Keep an eye out for dates in your city.
A Perfect Reality gets a 9/10 from me, and is an album worth getting your hands on. Marystown is definitely a band to follow.
Written by Joey Beaudin