I was putting off listening to these albums until I actually had time to listen to them properly.
They both sat on my coffee table, calling me to listen, since they arrived from Amazon. Until it got to the point where I could stand it no more… and so Ben Marwood went on while I was washing up, and Dive Dive made it into my car. And I’m glad that they did, because once I started listening, I couldn’t stop…
So anyway, on to the reviews. Let’s start with melodious punk rock band Dive Dive, for no particular reason other than we have to start somewhere.
Potential is Dive Dive’s latest album(number 3, I believe) but is the first of theirs that I have listened to. After catching them live supporting Frank Turner* and being impressed (review of that night’s performance here), it seemed a good idea to check out some of their recorded material.
I suspect Potential will stay on my car stereo for some time, as this is one of the few places I get to turn music up and enjoy. And it is certainly an album that you’ll want to turn up, especially if you’re into guitar music.
Every track has merit, and the album fits together nicely together as a coherent whole. Combining intricate guitar lines with interesting harmonies and a wide range of dynamics, this is definitely worth giving more than a few listens.
Stand out tracks: Ape like me (Planet of the Apes condensed into 3 minutes 26 seconds – excellent), Damage Control (catchy and driving, yet poignant), Collapse from the Hurt and Let’s Swap Places (slower, building to a dramatic close and featuring some clever panning).
In short – love it.
And so we move on to our next offering; Outside There’s a Curse.
Ben Marwood’s first full album, released on Xtra Mile Recordings, Outside There’s a Curse is a heartfelt collection of intimate acoustic songs with clever lyrical twists. With a hefty dose of cynicismn tempered with honesty and few gentle swipes at modern culture, this is an interesting listen.
There’s something charming about Ben’s voice, sometimes soothing, sometimes gruff, it carries the record, tying the album together through tracks which vary in tone.
Stand out tracks: Singalong (fuller in instrumentation than some other tracks on the album, it’s a catchy little number), I Will Breathe You In, and the final track – an acoustic cover of Postal Service’s The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.
Prize for the best song title has to go to Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted to be her Stupid Boyfriend Anyway.
This is an excellent piece of work, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning for Mr Marwood.
*In case you didn’t know, members of Dive Dive also make up part of Frank Turner’s backing band. That is your interesting factoid of the day. 🙂