March 17, 2017

LP: Marge - Bruise Easy

Marge makes their long-awaited return.

Marge simply labels themselves as “a rock band,” and that distilled description comes through loud and clear on their newest album, Bruise Easy. But calling them "just a rock band" would be selling Marge extremely short. The four-piece's first official LP is filled with an expert blend of melodic shoegaze, garage, and classic rock influences. Marge’s spaced out vocals are smooth and intense, and their lyrics are filled with heartbreak and wistful longing. Bruise Easy is loaded with tasteful feedback and catchy guitar riffs that feature high-pitched warbly wailing, usually on a single string. The intro welcomes listeners with a wall of noise, followed by sounds typically associated with coming home. You can hear a squeaking, like a screen door opening, then the sound of dog barks rises, like the pups have recognized your arrival. Mumbled voices join the mix, like friends coming to greet you and prepare you for the rock n roll you’re about to experience.

"Give It Time," the second track, is a driving start to the album. This positive song about healing post-break up has noisy guitar solos and consistent snare keeping everything together, urging listeners to tap their toes along to the beat. The climax comes when the heavy, fuzzy guitars build and build and then finally fade away as the vocalist belts, “Give it time!!” They repeat this message of patience and hope until the instruments fade away, emphasizing the passion behind those three words.
The immediately captivating "Graveyard" is about an unlikely romantic interest that arises in the dismal dreariness of a graveyard. Over a heavy bass line, they sing longingly to their cemetery crush, “Coming out the graveyard on your bike, I didn’t wanna miss you… Dreaming I could kiss you.” The verses are packed with ominous, dissonant guitar riffs and squealing feedback, giving the unsettling vibes that you’d expect from a song about a place where the dead are buried. But then, as the chorus bursts in, the instruments resolve and the vocalist roars “Who do you cry for?”

Standout "Violet" is the longest song on the album, and every second is both intense and beautiful. As the chorus comes in, a slower and heavier riff carries the vocalist’s nostalgic and somber lyrics along. The song contains a tinge of poppiness though, and there's even a part where the guitars break down the into a playful call-and-response. It's packed with angst and wit, ticking up to an ultimate call-out featuring the brutally sarcastic burn, “Do you want a ribbon for treating me like dirt and then apologizing?” The instruments build up in anticipation of this searing line with the toms pounding out heavy and straightforward beats. Then, suddenly and shockingly, the sound changes, the instruments pick up the pace. The vocalist powerfully screams, asserting their steely ability to bounce back after the pain they endured, and the guitars scream along. Marge's long-awaited official debut is a powerful one full of rock-n-roll hits that will let you feel every range of emotions.


Listen to Marge on bandcamp.

Brianna Peterson plays awkward pop punk country in a band called Cooper!, loves everything outdoors and Twin Peaks, and is painfully torn between being a dog or a cat person.