Marathon - Songs To Turn The Tide (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Songs To Turn The Tide (2003)

Red Leader

The Bush administration, which could very well be turning the page on its final chapter this coming fall, has not only brought out resounding bouts of anger in countless people, but some damn fine music – passionately aggressive, surprisingly melodic punk rock for the most part. Rochester's Marathon plays a style not very far from the aforementioned. The band, on Red Leader Records (the former home of a little band you may have heard of named Strike Anywhere), recalls the semi-spastic tendencies of early Propagandhi, but much more varied in sound. The quirky vocals, which resemble Guttermouth's Mark Adkins in his earlier days, still take on an original value of their own. They take some adjusting to, but fit the music well after several listens. Although, to be fair, Adkins was basically ripping off John K. Samson's snotty technique for several years as it is. The band mixes it up extremely well; there's not one style that settles in for more than forty-five seconds at a time. Barely a minute goes by in the first song, "Photosynthesis," before the music halts to a drum-breaking, emotional queue, with the vocalist wailing, "black bile, expulsion – our hopes for beauty take an exit and get flushed," only to delve a short while later into an almost post-hardcore qualm. "Bombs Make Lousy Tourniquets" contains a tussle of exchanged yells and screams over a quick, distorted riff. As evidenced earlier, the lyrics are flat-out spectacular. They mask a lot of the political commentary with slight metaphor, but the clincher is just that – they're only slight. Instead of similes and such getting overly injected with pointless allegory, it's more like the band makes a quick note of it and then gets to the point, like in "Langston's Motto;" "buildings, subways, city sidewalks – formerly our public canvas. Now coated with glossy plastic faces bleached with one intent: manufacture illness." Not to mention that no one can argue with the blatant cleverness of a prophetic line like "dinosaurs like you become the fossil fuels you dearly love." And, no, they don't rip off Refused in any manner, as much hope as the EP's title might have given you. They sound like a band that could easily be huge just as well in a short time, though. MP3s
Bombs Make Lousy Tourniquets
Langston's Motto MP3 CLIP
Our Dictator Can Beat Up Your Dictator