Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thomas J Marchant - Trying Not To Die

Hear The Track Here

Out of the thousands of Soundclick artists I have reviewed, there are very few whose whole entire output has been put through my mill. Fear 2 Stop is one and Thomas J Marchant is another. The reason I lump fear 2 Stop and Thomas together is because - when they first started - they shared a musical genre (experimental) and they both got enormous amounts of crap from me about it. While Fear 2 Stop have sharpened and honed their original sound and damn the cost, Thomas has wandered around a bit (under different names) before settling on his current musical style under his real name. Thomas is - to my mind - a modern day troubadour; a storyteller. His early tracks in this mode were simple, effective songs backed by the minimum of accompaniment. Such style, and his own inimitable character, saw him installed as my Artist Of The Year 2008 and - bless him - he hasn't taken a breath since, pumping out tracks as fast as he makes them.

Over the last year or so, the music has become more intricate, as he pushes his own boundaries to see what works and what doesn't and - at first glance - Trying Not To Die might be suffering because of it. However, I learned the hard way not to underestimate this musician, his music often demands more than a quick listen. Moreover, if the track doesn't catch you straight away, there is usually a reason for it. I don't mind because I always have time for this very individualistic songwriter but he isn't something you would pick up on instantly. Something of an acquired taste, and I understand that, having got that taste many, many reviews ago. The reason I'm being a bit iffy is because my reaction to this at first was not good, I mean really not good. Now considering how consistent he has been, I seriously questioned whether this heralded a change in direction/style and, if so, would I like it still?

For sure, this is the most lo-fi track I have heard from him in a while and, truth to tell, it has a demo feel about it, especially in the drum track, which I blame for my initial reaction. However, the more I played it, the more the quality of the song came through because, amongst all the lo-fi messing about, that is the real gem here. My admiration for Thomas's style and his songwriting ability is well known and - in that respect - Trying Not To Die doesn't let me down but personally I could have done with a lot more of the song and a lot less of the lo-fi guitar thrashing. If you just took the song, and its immediate environs (as it were) then what you would have is a track with a Buzzocks easy punk pop feel about it that is second to none.

Highly Recommended for the song at least, so long as you can get past the lo-fi.

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