Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Get In Line With Marching Band

Swedish band Marching Band in fact are not made up of 76 trombones but instead a couple of dudes who go by the name of Jacob and Erik. Rather than heading off to Gary, Indiana to record, this duo chose to write and record their album, Pop Cycle during an intense six month period of time in which the band chose to move, write songs without a home and then record them during the two worst months of winter. To say this wasn't a crazy time for the band and didn't influence the record would be grossly mistaken. Yet, somehow, the band managed to pull through, get their possessions out of storage, move into a new apartment and emerge with their second album in hand. While the band insist that all this chaos and cold weather caused Pop Cycle to be a dark record, I challenge you to find proof of that as Pop Cycle shines like a diamond the size of Scandinavia.

Sounding like the soundtrack to spring, Pop Cycle, could feature ten songs about morbid forms of dying but because the music is so bright, light, and cheery, you'd have no idea. Overstuffed with two-part harmonies and enough jangly guitars to make the Wedding Present give up, the band certainly hasn't damaged Sweden's reputation as world leaders of indie pop; if anything it's ramped up their credibility a few notches. Think of Pop Cycleas a post-shoegazing record that sounds like the best crossover between Doves and a cheery Elbow and you kind of get an idea of where this Marching Band is coming from. With massive pop tunes and choruses that are so addictive there are clinics to treat them, Pop Cycle is pop as only the Swedes could create.

Jumpy, slightly tweeish, and just about perfect Marching Band have come up with a magnificent album of indie pop that may have been recorded in the starkness of winter but is hotter than July . From the quirky, sugary sweet dual vocal power of "It Is Hidden," to the massive hooks and riffs that populate, "It's Not Your Dream (But His)," Marching Band have stumbled upon a template for fantastic pop and made it all their own. Pop Cycleas a result is a warm and joyous record that sounds so much larger than life it seems like it was actually put together by 76 trombones instead of the duo that call themselves Marching Band. Securing it's place in Sweden's lexicon of indie pop perfection Pop Cycle does not disappoint. Well done guys.

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