Album Review: Marine Electric – Restrained Joy

imageMarine Electric’s ‘Restrained Joy’ would be a much better record if it ever really let itself get going. It doesn’t help that opening track ‘Change Your Mind’ is something of a plodder – summing up my overall feelings of this record very quickly. It’s good, it sounds good, and it’s clearly crafted with skill and care but there’s just something missing.

Second track ‘Street Guitars’ shows promise and showcases some great gruff vocals and heavier guitars. Were Marine Electric to maintain this intensity over ten songs this album may have earned another star. As ‘Pretty Good Day To Be Alive’ hits the speakers I’m excited – a song big from the beginning, inviting melodic vocals and the promise of an excellent sing-a-long chorus – but sadly it never happens. At 37 seconds long ‘Pretty Good Day’… is a let down. There’s too much going on for such a short song but it hasn’t quite the power to provide a Kid Dynamite-esque burst of punk rock glory.

<a href=“” data-mce-href=“”>Restrained Joy by The Marine Electric</a>

‘Murder Mile’ is a great song, bursting at the seams with raw passion, heart on sleeve vocals, and solid musicianship. It gives way to ‘Live Oak’, which for me is the best song here; more of the same only with bigger melodic sections and a brilliant mid-section leading to a soft, fuzzy. ‘Ride It Out’ continues the theme of great songs in the middle of this record. Beautiful riffs, incredible sounding guitars, building to choruses that scream for sweaty sing-a-longs in dark rooms. ‘Real Numbers’ is another of the truly excellent songs making up the core of this album. There’s really nothing more to say about this album’s best songs – including ninth track ‘Silver For Lead.’  They show great passion, great skill, and they maintain the kind of intensity expected of a record wearing its Hot Water Music hoodie with pride.

Marine Electric could well be on to something here. This is a record with wonderful, if somewhat unfulfilled promise. It strikes me that this could be a band that would kill it live and have simply not quite caught the nail fully in the studio. This is by no means a bad record, it’s one I’m happy to add to my collection, but there is something missing. Had the five standout tracks been released as an EP then I’d be debating whether or not to give this the coveted fifth star. As it stands there’s just too much missing in the surrounding tracks and with the pedal never quite to the metal it looses out.


‘Restrained Joy’ by Marine Electric is out now on Insrgnt Unbuckled.

Marine Electric links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Tom Knott (@nounandthenouns)


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