The Marshmellows: Mad Sense of Alice (CD, 46:11) May Day Records MDR-2001 1997 11013 Fuqua #254 Houston Texas 77089 Cyberhome: http://netprofits.org/music/marsh.htm The Marshmellows are Ian Marsh doing absolutely splendid vocals and keys, Marshall Stackwith doing very psychedelic guitars and vocals, Grant Deed on bass and vocals, and Dez Baker on drums. Chris Shryack guest guitars on "Smoke". Normally I don't do retro-pop psychedelia. I make the exception here. This is good. Marsh's vocals are eerie echoes of John Lennon and that Beatles' harmonizing. His song composing is topnotch. Hooks are strong and multi-barbed. Their "hang time" in your head could be for years. I've carried the title cut, "Mad Sense of Alice" in my melody-packed head for months now. Darn those pop hooks! They work! Drumming is "Ringo" steady, bass "McCartney" poised, and guitars exude that "Harrison" warmth and tone. Marsh's voice is 80% Lennonesque but you can hear Supertramp's Roger Hodgson too. Nice mix. Vintage Beatles sound comes through loud and clear on "Mad Sense of Alice", "Rainy Day", "Silver Jets", and "Good Enough". With a lively, upbeat, melodic bassline driving things, "Beast of the City" is very Oasis. The keys and dance floor beat in "Glass House" is mid '80s Tears For Fears or Wang Chung teen angst. And there's Supertramp again. "All the Way to the Bank" has a late Lennon introspective testimonial with cynical sarcasm in its lyrics. Is selling out all that bad? Does the music business reward compromise? We sign off with "Goodbye #917" which is most likely the signature Marshmellow sound. This song or the title cut deserve serious Top 40 rotation radio play . . . somewhere. We outro on the CD with classic Beatle pyscho-babble and other aural marginalia. Well done guys. Recommended for popular demand. -- John W. Patterson
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