Album Art

Songs from Southern and Baseline   [5/5]  

Now here's the type of band you don't hear every day. Marshan are four guys from Glasgow, and they're proudly producing the perfect mixture of Blues-fuelled Rock music, lovingly smattered throughout with gracious elements of Country music and poppy melodies.

Both Graeme Duff and Scott Miller share-out the guitar and lead singing duties pretty fairly, leaving Kevin Burges to his bass guitar and Malcolm Thomson to drum along as he sees best fit, as they open this cracking 10-track album with 'Shake Yourself' in which acoustic and electric guitars vibrantly clash and White Stripes-styled vigour pervades.

Their 'Mind Dryer' pivots around its fantastically swaggering rock riff, while the vocals lend the tune an air of Vines-laced debauchery, though songs such as 'Sweet Things Suck' prove that Marshan don't view downright mellow and poignant emotions as alien entities, as the coincidental sweetness of the tune might remind of bands such as Proud Mary or The Cosmic Rough Riders.

'Letdowns And Turnarounds' is another all-out rock 'n' roll stormer of which Monster Magnet would be proud, before 'Roger, Heat The Plate' is exquisite with its sublime Doors-esque intro sequence, though 'Bonsai' in particular stands-apart from the rest of the album for being instrumentally haunting. Still, even that tune isn't as grandly soul-stirring as the lush acoustic turn of 'Out Of Sight,' that's so beautifully crafted it's in the realm of Gomez's most affecting and touching music.

Marshan, far from being from a different planet, are like old mates back home to renew friendships long-lost. Indeed, their songs matter and glorify all that is worth holding sacred in both life and love.

Steve Rudd