„Expect guitar music balanced with rhythm“. That’s the deadpan but dead-on slogan on a certain Marbled Eye t-shirt, so cheekily overbroad that it manages to perfectly capture their keen take on Guitar Music in 2019. Embracing dichotomies of approach, minimal and progressive, austere and indulgent, melodic and abrasive, they pull from a rich history of post punk while feeling very much of-the-moment.
Their sound is built around the intertwined non-hierarchical guitars and interchanging vocals of Chris Natividad and Michael Lucero, atop the economical but never predictable framework of Alex Shen’s drums and Andy Oswald’s bass. Chris, Alex, and Andy are Northern California music scene veterans, while Marbled Eye is Michael’s first band. It’s kind of enviable either way.
Between their first two EPs and their debut full length (Leisure, 2018), they’ve sharpened their signature sound while expanding their songwriting strategies. Phrases are pushed past their old horizons before pivoting down new and unexpected pathways. Vocals teeter on the brink of paranoid introspection, occasionally spiraling off in peels of runaway feedback. In a certain sense, tropes of a more psychy/krauty strain have entered the Marbled Eye vernacular. Fortunately, unlike many in the hordes of schlocky garage bands who would frivolously claim these descriptors, these dudes have riffs.“