By The Marmozets
Without being patronising, to say Bingley-based band The Marmozets have an average age of sixteen (and, apparently, this EP was recorded when they had an average age of just fifteen,) 'Out Of My Control' is impressive. Easily strong enough to give bands many years their senior a run for their money, you have to wonder just how far The Marmozets will have progressed a few years down the line.
EP-opener 'Back To The Start' is catchy indie-rock with an emphasis on the rock, and frontwoman Becca Macintyre's opening vocals will make your jaw hit the floor. Able to hit those piercingly high notes whilst retaining a sweet, glassy clarity, Becca's voice gives this solid song that final boost, and takes it to the next level.
Occasionally, Becca's voice does overpower the rest of the band. On 'I Don't Know' in particular, her voice is too strong and strident for the song's hazy guitars, and you'll struggle to make out what's happening behind her ringing vocals. However, when The Marmozets put more growl into their guitar-playing on the chorus, it evens up the balance and 'I Don't Know' takes a step in the right direction. Also, during EP-closer 'Young and Underrated' Becca's vocals do drift out of tune, although this is nothing a good studio polish couldn't rectify.
However, on the whole, Becca's voice is what makes The Marmozets' debut EP such an exciting one, and it certainly makes opening song 'Back To The Start' impossible to ignore.
Musically, 'Back To The Start' peaks early, with a faultless first thirty seconds, where marching drumbeats snag your attention, before The Marmozets break things wide open with swirling guitars trimmed with indulgent drum-rolls.
The rest of 'Back To The Start' never quite tops that introduction; the verses have a more pared-down sound, and place an emphasis on groovy, indie-influenced rhythms that fail to ignite. The surprisingly heavy wallop of the pre-chorus passages, and the harder-rocking choruses, both make a valiant bid to sweep the listener up, and they succeed to a certain extent, you'll just wish The Marmozets could carry that energy over into the verses.
'Cut The Pieces' boasts another electric introduction. This time, The Marmozets bring together pulsing bass and drums, in a thumping, dance-influenced beat, before 'Cut The Pieces' unleashes a wave of dramatic, drum-roll studded guitars. The verses are, again, a little underwhelming, but the urgent vocals and soaring, twinkling melodies of the chorus are wonderfully reminiscent of 'All We Know Is Falling'-era Paramore.
'Out Of My Control' also has shades of Paramore's first album, in particular the glimmering riffs and emotive, arcing guitars of the opening minute. After that dramatic start, the subdued verses feel like a return to Earth. However, The Marmozets mix things up with swathes of heart-string-tugging guitars that wing across the verses at regular intervals. It's enough to hold your interest until the euphoric chorus kicks in and duly blows you away with its teenage-angst lyrics, soaring vocals and chewy-centred, pop-punk riffs.
The Marmozets tackle the issue of their age head-on with the cheesy fun of 'Young and Underrated.' While their assertion that "we're just young and underrated" may curl a few toes, this is a defiant, poppy stomp that's overflowing with some of the most accomplished riffs on the EP.
'Out Of My Control' is a very promising debut, spearheaded by Becca's exceptional voice. Occasionally, the guitars sound like they've been lifted straight off Paramore's debut album, and when The Marmozets plough the poignant pop-punk furrow, they sound absolutely huge, and it's almost impossible to believe they're so young. The Marmozets are designed to make any band with an average age that doesn't end in -teen, feel very self-conscious indeed.