Occasionally I feel a bit bad about giving a band a verbal tongue lashing. The Marsden Lees are from the Sunshine Coast, they clearly have some talent, but need to develop their own sound, rather than attempting to mimic the whole UK post-punk thing (i.e. The Kooks, The Libertines, Razorlight). Give them a few years, I think they might come good.
The Marsden Lees’ debut will make teenage girls weak at the knees. Suitably named Vices, it explores leitmotifs like girls, alcohol and cigarettes. The Marsden Lees show unabashed affection for the British post-punk revival aesthetic, vocalist Aaron Wynn sounding uncannily similar to Luke Pritchard of The Kooks – perhaps a bit too similar. Opener Midnight Run is a solid and well-crafted single using clean electric guitar tone in the vein of Razorlight, while Sarah embraces an upbeat ska-like tempo and a neat chorus vocal hook that just screams sing-a-long. However, the EP gradually becomes less exciting. I’m confused by what seems like false British accentuation of the lyrics, which, by the time I get to In the Water, becomes frustrating. Overall satisfactory, but perhaps more innovation in song dynamics might not go astray.
You can listen to 'Pretty Little Girls' which doesn't appear on the Vices EP, but gives you an indication of what I'm talking about with the whole Kooks thing.
Originally published in Rave Magazine.