These are interesting times.
I’m off soon to see the 2010 version of Marah, a band that’s changed rhythm sections, labels and musical direction so often that you’d swear they were trying to shake a tail. It will be the second time seeing Dave Bielanko without brother Serge, his musical co-conspirator, a role seemingly now played by multi-instrumentalist Christine Smith.
When they blew through town last year they were just getting started in their new incarnation and suffering through the shakes and rumbles that a new unit can often do when they’re windblown. Of the musician’s honing Dave’s vision, only bass player Johnny Pisano seemed focused and energized…but now he’s gone. Smith was hampered and drummer Martin Lynds looked lost, which he probably was given the nature of rambling set lists and malfunctioning equipment.
But now a full year more of woodshedding is in the books and the new release Life Is A Problem is due to be released in a couple of weeks. It’s a loose, muddled, dissonant and atmospheric record that might first bring a puzzled expression to your face, but let it worm its way in during a second and third listen. (I’ll post a link to my review as soon as the magazine posts it online).
Marah has always made great records and usually exceeded expectations live. It will be interesting to see how they bring some of these songs to life from the stage. I wrote last year that I didn’t know where they were headed, but I was ready to follow along and check it out when they did.
I guess now is the time.