Restrained Joy

The Marine Electric

Insrgnt/Unbuckled Records, 2012

http://marineelectric.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/06/2013

Just when you think you've heard every gravely melodic punk band, another one shows up that requires you to make space in your collection. New York's The Marine Electric might not be a well known name among those with a similar approach to legends like Small Brown Bike or Hot Water Music, but their gruff yet tuneful recent album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Restrained Joy is certainly on par with the greatness achieved by their influences.

While the band generally sticks to this timeless formula, there's enough variation from song to song to keep the listener guessing. The album starts off with gang vocals on "Change Your Mind,” a gritty tune that has a basement punk band feel, somewhere between anthemic and rough pop punk. “Street Guitars” shows a much heavier side of the band with giant guitars, pounding drums, and throaty singing, whereas “Pretty Good Day To Be Alive” is the most vocally melodic point here, but at less than a minute long it ends just when it gets started. The middle songs, “Live Oak” and “Murder Mile,” both stand out as the biggest songs here, the fiery rhythm section and buzzing guitars providing a fertile ground for emotive and intense punk rock energy. Lots of quick bursts of power are par for the course, though “Sea Fever” has a short, quiet, homemade intro before the music kicks in. Near the end of the disc, the momentum is still strong: "Real Numbers" is a gritty pop punk rocker that begs to be sung along with and even ends with a gentle acoustic part.

This is a dynamic listen with multiple voices and a lot of furious guitar work. Apparently the instruments were recorded live with the vocals added later, which helps give it a raw feel. 

Apparently the instruments were recorded live with the vocals added later, which helps give it a raw feel. The singing ranges between throaty and tuneful and music with plenty of hooks, memorable sing-a-longs, and fist pumping loudness, which provides so much to enjoy on Restrained Joy.

Rating: B

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© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Insrgnt/Unbuckled Records, and is used for informational purposes only.