The Marine Electric - Head West [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Marine Electric

Head West [7 inch] (2009)

Listen Up!

The latest entry in the Marine Electric's EP parade is a solid 7" of moderately poppy indie-punk tunes, but with a versatile array of influences to make it sound fresh.

The Brooklyn quartet temper the mostly mid-tempo, buoyant tunes on Head West with a sense of restrained joy. A stripped-down version of Braid's noodly guitars are subtly referenced in opener "Get Warm" while the slower first half of "List of Names" has this one riff that seems to quickly nod towards pre-Good News Modest Mouse (really!). But the latter abruptly transitions into a more rugged, slightly gruffer sing-along closer in line with the post-Small Brown Bike scene.

"Young Hearts," its title perhaps a loving nod to another Brooklyn pop-punk outfit, mixes in some film clip audio, while "Coyote" is ushered in with some distinctive, ear-catching guitar work before one of the record's more realized and energetic songs rolls through. There's even a vague Ted Leo-meets-Agent vibe with digital closer "Scott v. the Pavement."

Ambitious but noticeably disjointed, Head West regardless establishes itself as something promising for the young band. It'd be interesting to see what they could do with a little more songwriting development and punchier production.

Head West 7"