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Marathon - Marathon (Cover Artwork)

Marathon

Marathon: MarathonMarathon (2005)
Reignition Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: pastepunkPastepunk
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Simply... Fuck Yea!! Upstate New York's Marathon have written a debut full-length album that I've gone totally ape over since first listen. Forging a sound that's as equally influenced by Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day and Bigwig, as it is by Strike Anywhere, and the lead singer's previous band, (the.
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Simply... Fuck Yea!! Upstate New York's Marathon have written a debut full-length album that I've gone totally ape over since first listen. Forging a sound that's as equally influenced by Bad Religion, NOFX, Green Day and Bigwig, as it is by Strike Anywhere, and the lead singer's previous band, (the highly underappreciated) De la Hoya, this album busts out from the seams with glorious, incredibly well sung vocals, and throttling, run-around-silly instrumentation. Intelligent, insightful, and fantastically political/sardonic lyrics take this band beyond the pale, and are the kind where you feel compelled to read every single word printed in the insert booklet.

Marathon's talents work in many ways - for those who grew up on a steady diet of early Fat and Epitpah bands, as well as Lifetime, these guys clearly appeal to that school of thought where punk rock could be humorous, serious, and intense, without necessarily being categorized past that. The expressions of music and thought that are put together here seem so incredibly pure when compared to those bands who emerge these days from their practice spaces with a marketing plan in hand.

Getting into the specifics, the thirteen songs that make up this album have a bit of a nervous twitch to them, throwing consistency of form into the wind. From the scorching forbidden-beat drumming of the second track, "I Don't Have A Dancing Problem," to the fast, acoustic theatrics of "Names Have Been Charged (To Protect The Guilty)," Marathon run on only one level: supercharged. Blazing guitars leave aural ectasy all over this album, and never tire via repetitive chugging or lazy chord progressions. Even when the tempos wind down to a middling range, like on the all-too-honest, "Where We Hide," the warped-yet-compelling lead vocals of Aaron Scott crackle like discharges of lightning. I had to play this song over and over again because the lyrics were too good to let go - "We must confess / Our lives are not really as hopeless, heartless, or haunted as we'd like to think / Yeah we're just privileged brats / And we barely understand what it means to be oppressed / We just crave something real to let out how we feel / So we can start making payments on our sizable emotional debt / We hide in the songs." Sure makes those songs about "bleeding mascara" seem like a pile shit, eh? This album continues to sizzle on the epic, I'm-not-ready-to-grow-up tale "Jolly Roger," and the culture-questiniong finale, "Courting My Soul." It's no surprise that some of the last words Marathon leaves the listener with on this album are "Have more to say to than just nodding our heads / This is my time, this my chance, I'm breaking out of this trance."

Marathon have managed to preserve their unique form of energy into the recording quality of this disc in fine fashion (and a huge step up from their debut EP). Tracked at Nada Recording Studio in New Windsor, NY, this album is convincingly loud and aggressive, in a brash, but professional sort of way. This may be a case of "reviewer's hindsight" more than anything else, but the recording style genuinely reflects the attitude of the band's music, rather than the usual case of a recording sounding "big" for the sake of sounding big.

Marathon have written one of my favorite albums of 2005 thus far. As I've already proceeded to practically memorize every part to this release, every listen becomes more and more engaging, to the point where I feel like these songs have become an extension of my life. The vocal talents of Aaron Scott must be experienced, and the band's "hit-you-from-all-sides" songwriting is just the kind of kick-in-the-crotch that makes one take pause. Wooooooooo!

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimPolar Bear Club - Sometimes Things Just DisappearThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartPolar Bear Club - Chasing HamburgHot Water Music - CautionNone More Black - File Under BlackRise Against - Revolutions Per MinutePropagandhi - Potemkin City LimitsPolar Bear Club - The Redder, The Better

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Alien (December 21, 2009)

It's pretty good.. some songs seem short and unfinished, like they could've been way cooler.
but it's alright

shelberz (November 20, 2006)

You guys are my favorite band!
I sooooo wish that you guys didnt break up yoiu are sooo cool!
L-O-V-E Shelby

I saw you guys in Oswego and I have pictures...It was so amazing!

ILOVEYOU!

Stefano (September 6, 2006)

i miss this band. this is a band hat comes around once every few years that is around for so long and leave a immesaurable mark on people and music. this band and this record were easily one of those.

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

awesome album. lyrics are the best part.

Anchors (June 5, 2005)

I just found out they're coming back to Syracuse in a few months. And they're bringing Glass And Ashes, PMFS, and Smoke or Fire.

Somebody loves me.

8dollarclarinetsolo (June 5, 2005)

saw em with new mexican disaster squad, they were alright, but nmds were dicks

Anonymous (June 5, 2005)

again it sucks

teddytexas (June 5, 2005)

again, this album rips

Anchors (June 4, 2005)

The score I'd give this is between you and Brian.

A solid effort, but really could be better.

richbomb (June 3, 2005)

jordan rules.

tristan (June 3, 2005)

The other review had it right. This is a little disappointing, but Rise Against kids should dig "Painting By Numbers."

pastepunk (June 3, 2005)

It's a bad habit I picked up from MRR reviews when I started the site... it just sort of stuck. When I used to pour over MRR reviews in like 94, 95, etc. I would always look to the bands mentioned in caps b/c they were usually sound comparisons/references/influences, and that's how I'd usually determine what to mailorder (man, that seems so foreign to now with every band having a purevolume or myspace account).

Anchors (June 3, 2005)

I've always liked Pastepunk reviews, but I've never understood the bands in capslock deal.

Anonymous (June 3, 2005)

I agree w/ this review as opposed to Brian's.

Also, they're a great live act. So if you're in there area stop by.

- Kirby

ncarlber (June 3, 2005)

I saw them last night in Chicago with New Mexican Disaster Squad. I couldn't believe there were only like 8 people there...but Marathon was fantastic. It's nice to see a band play with conviction and passion....its been too long

Anonymous (June 3, 2005)

i agree more with the first review of this record. it's still oustanding stuff, but the "songs to turn the tide" ep pointed towards something that would be hands down the record of the year, and i don't think this is it.

i have de la hoya's "has no credibility" ep, "dance! techno mega-mix volume 42" and the "wipe the slate clean, now let's begin" ep. do you use soulseek?

bizzlebrizzle (June 3, 2005)

Sounds TONS like BigWig!

Anyone on here have any De La Hoya? I've been looking for ages...all I have is a song i got on a Law of Inertia sampler.

Anonymous (June 3, 2005)

This sounds like pennywise and millincolin at times.

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