CD review: SUBURBIA AND MINIVANS
By: Dan Brisebois
A boisterous follow-up to their 2011 debut, Marinol Nation hits it out of the park with SUBURBIA AND MINIVANS. A playful collection of contradictions, it's an album that explores the happy side of hell, tells stories of a frog disguised as a princess, and says its ok to die, because someone else is going first.
It has a general sense of doing wrong despite knowing the consequences, and is full of spunk and diversity. It crosses over from the rawness of "Three Strikes Out" to the quirky "Gonna Bury You" and the tender ballad "Circling the Drain," a duet with Isabelle Robinson.
Musically, the most structured and complex track is "Oh Well," a progressive number that actually seems out of place from the generally raw, raucus over-all feel. It stands out for that reason, as is the case with "Took A Dive For Jesus," one of the more socially-outspoken, and easily the hardest-hitting tracks.
Lyrically, the songs are written with a thought provocative introspective with passion and sentiment. Leader Eli Martin's personal vices appear to be the order of the day in "Three Strikes Out," "Junkie Girl," "Gonna Bury You," and "Another Rehab." It's the honesty in the songs that makes the album stand out from the crowd.
SUBURBIA AND MINIVANS is a good collection of straight forward pop, sometimes with a progressive tinge, sometimes with a harder edge, but always well done.
CD review: LIPSTICK ON A PIG
By: Dan Brisebois
The debut album from Marinol Nation is an eclectic blend of every corner of the gamet - from heavy industrial beats to country-twinged pop, with a healthy dose of blues and roots thrown in for good measure.
The pride of Sarnia, Ontario, the band is the brainchild of Eli Martin, and LIPSTICK ON A PIG is 13 tracks strong - a reflection of a wide array of influences, full of quirky subtleties with a solid musical background.
The title track is a country ditty complete with guitar twang about someone ditching the wife. Along with "The Deja Vu Blues," a clever rhthymic number about the second time 'round love, and like the album as a whole, the songs are written from experience. The mix of tales of broken hearts, personal battles, social commentaries, and battling hiV are blended together with well crafted and often catchy hooks.
The Delta slide in the 'music biz' anthem "The Music Whore," and the hard-driving rockers "Marinol Nation" and "It Ain't The Life I Wanted" showcase a record slick on production - without unnecessary and diluting excess. The maturity shown is quite above the all-to-often norm from a debut album. The level of effort put into the project is evidence there was a definite intent to make you stop and take notice.
"It's Time To Burn The Bibes" is a rant against extremism, fuelled by the Ground Zero Mosque, and like "The Zimbabwe Reggae Blues" are lyrically scathing on several levels, and definitely show Martin's not one to mince feelings in his songs. "My Fairweather Friend" shows attitude in the studio, and is one of the better alt-rock tracks in the last few years and like several tracks on the album, balance out an overall solid effort.