Sound: Marionette have got to be schizophrenics. They don't have conversations with themselves or go down the traditionally spazzy avenue garde', but their music is packed to the rafters with binary oppositions. They are something of a Jekyll & Hyde in their vicious, youthful extremity, which is forever struggling to prove itself against the father figure in their sound an absolutely spot-on ear for a melody. The Jekyll & Hyde comparison only goes so far though, as the two sides of Marionette's coin do end up co-existing and together are a gruesome, elegant, ugly, beautiful anomaly.
The major difference between Enemies' and their debut Spite' is speed. The fast parts here are even faster, which makes the groovier parts even groovier and the album in general a whole lot more intense. Even though the production is just as slick and Linus Johansson's rich keyboards make more frequent (not to mention valuable) contributions, the album feels like an exhibition of calculated rawness. If you analyse the abstract in songs like Anthropomorphism' you even begin to get the impression that the vocals and drums are facing off against the guitars and engaging in a fight to the death; the former ripping and biting, the latter battering the mix with its gratuitous muscle. You should be seeing by now the sort of contradictions Marionette make through sound, but opposites attract, at least in this case. // 8
Lyrics: Enemies' is said to be about conformity and authority, which at least puts the crude, flabby man-pig on the cover in context. It's not the most thrilling topic out there, as much as it probably should be but the returning strength of Axel Widn's vocals you're not going to make out many lyrics, good or bad, but boy are you gonna enjoy it. Experimentation with pitches, layers and different ways to scream set Widn apart as a performer though it's hard to say whether he is quite so vital to the band's sound this time around. // 7
Overall Impression: A debut album from a band like this is always going to set them up as hopefuls' with potential to make a big impact; it's good to see that they're still fresh enough for a second cracking album, even if it is just over a year later. Still in the stages where they need to develop a core audience, this is just the sort of progression that a band needs and this is just the sort of band you may need. Highly recommended. // 8
- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2009