Monday, March 21, 2011

Marvin The Robot vs. NPR's RPM challenge

Marvin the Robot answers the NPR’s challenge
Marvin the Robot a three piece from Columbus answered the NPR challenge of creating an album in one month. The album “The New Bottom Line” can be downloaded via band camp at, duh right. You might have seen Marvin The robot around Columbus before and I believe their sound has progressed a little from noise to indie rock. Before you get all ‘isn’t this the kind of music you say is controlled by secret circles and snotty hipsters” on me give the album a chance. Unlike the ultra cool hipster secret circle music the music doesn’t make you feel like an outsider when you listen to it. Of course you might not get it , or rather understand exactly what they are singing about like say in the first track “Esoteric Devices’ but don’t shy away the third track “Two Purple Hearts” will make you feel better giving you something more to relate too, “House won’t burn / Wife won’t Leave “ are lyrics most people can relate to. Getting deeper in the tracks you find some possible angst towards previous mentioned secret circles , obscurest and cock rockers wrapped in some on the spot lyrical writing in “Fake Jazz” ,maybe even calling out some of the older people in Columbus who talk about the good ole’ days and how cool Frank Black is. . The title track gets a little serious and let’s the singer get some more dynamics in. On this album he has a bit of the whiney indie vocal style mixed with what sounds like a Chuck Mosley influence making it likeable and not just pretentious. The guitar work is pretty good but does not stand out too much, somewhere between indie rock and post surf punk while the drums keep it basic. I have a problem with drummers in Columbus and I think that very good drummers are very rare ,some don’t even know you can tune the drum , this drummer is not in that category . Still the drums to me could be tweaked a little bit but that’s just my perforce not theirs. For recording inside of a month and on what I think is home equipment I would applaud there efforts if it was still cool to clap your hands or use that sort of expression so I will just say they do rock it a little bit.MTR’s The New Bottom Line has a few surprises in it you might enjoy if you’re an indie hipster or onto noise or just rock. The last few tracks include some electronics and some mellow vocals mixed with rhythmic repetitious noises, representing what I believed to be a more honest picture of the band. You can download there album like I said before via their band camp site and catch them around Columbus and decide for your self ‘
This album gets 4.00 out of 5.00 Sue Stars for rising up to a challenge and making it sound above decent.

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