Music » CD Reviews

The Marbles

Seduction (Break Up!)

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It seems as if this bunch once called itself Manda & the Marbles, and for what it's worth, it should stick with that name. Lead singer Manda Marble possesses a solid, brassy rock and roll bellow, and she is clearly the focal point of this bubblegum punk trio. Eye candy becomes ear candy on Seduction, as the Columbus group rips through a fairly rudimentary batch of buzz-buzz-whir-whir tunes that seem to be trying to figure out if they're punk, pop, power pop, punk pop, or whatever. Manda Marble's attitudinal vocals carry things along (or maybe she's just so damn cute that you think they do) with the confidence that you might expect from a mid-Ohio, Midwest gal, but her voice is also the only aspect of Seduction that seems to hint at range.

Song after revved-up song chugs along to what becomes the paradigmatic monotony of punk guitar at full throttle, only to be saved by a joyous little cover song that sensibly weds the Marbles to new-wave pioneers Holly & the Italians. The Marbles' rendition of Holly's "I Wanna Go Home" presents the brilliant expatriates' anthem as the long-lost classic that it is and lands the band one little gold star for its apparent post-punk reverence (although, sonically, Holly's Italians were far more textured and based in traditional rock and roll than this). All in all, Seduction works well enough that, considering the musical climate these days, you can probably get screwed (or "seduced"?) into believing this is something more than it is. But Seduction is ultimately a solid, workmanlike, and frightfully listenable record that portends nothing new while doing a fine, yet indistinct, job of deferentially regurgitating the hip past.

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