Back in 2014, a noisy Yorkshire five-piece stormed the rock world with a unique, genre-bending sound that tore up the airwaves and set tongues a-wagging. That band was Marmozets. They were quickly snapped up by heavyweight label Roadrunner Records, supported Muse on tour, and became regulars on the UK festival circuit.
Then all went quiet for a bit, as injured vocalist Becca MacIntyre underwent a series of knee operations that left her bedbound for months on end, whilst the future of the band hung in the balance. However, they’re finally back with their sophomore album, ‘Knowing What You Know Now’, and it’s certainly worth the wait.
Lead single and opening track ‘Play’ is a frenzied, frenetic assault on the senses: the musical equivalent of a circle pit, zippy guitars, a pulsing drum rhythm from Josh MacIntyre, and attitude in abundance. “I’m gonna die to own this room / Yeah, I need this more than you,” declares Becca, and you won’t want to argue with her.
Follow-up ‘Habits’ is another banger, with a chorus so punchy it threatens to knock out anything on their debut. ‘Meant To Be’ sounds like old-school Marmozets, with Becca‘s trademark screech over the same vibrant, mathy sound that made them stand out in the first place, but there’s a new found confidence here, the confidence of a band who knows their undeniable knack for a smart hook and aren’t afraid to use it.
The album is very much a gritty, angst-filled riot, but the down tempo moments are equally good and break up the album nicely. Dreamy slow burner ‘Insomnia’ is a real highlight, with its breezy vocals and eerie guitar work from Will Bottomley and Sam MacIntyre. Haunting ballad ‘Me & You’ is a touching tribute to the MacIntyres‘ grandmother, and with its spindly leads and piano chimes, it’s also a welcome respite from all the noise, that is until ‘Suffocation’ comes in hard again with yet another crunchy riff.
This record is not as zany or experimental as their previous work, which may disappoint some fans. What it is though, is something even more interesting. It’s a solid collection of upfront, undiluted rock songs, and an expression of a band who have gone through hardships and turmoil and come out the other side stronger and better for it. If Marmozets‘ future efforts are as assured as this, they’ll be cemented as one of UK rock’s mainstays for a good while to come.