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Band Marino

The Sea and the Beast

(Street Parade; US: 2 Dec 2006; UK: Unavailable)

Band Marino is a Florida quintet who craft some decent pop music. Although they use a potpourri of different instrumentation, the group makes some urgent, witty songs such as “American Patriot”, which sounds like a cross between Slobberbone and The Killers. But the band also adds strings to these straightforward, bouncy pop songs. This is an asset, especially on “I Have a Dream”, which oozes Beatles-esque pop. However, what makes so much of this album come to life is the unknown. How in the hell they can turn around after “I Have a Dream” with a slow, shuffling pop tune that could have been stolen from a Rufus Wainwright album? Such is the case with “Chasing Rainbows” which glides along and shines because it’s so darn carefree and freewheeling before closing with a brief but memorable hoedown/rave-up. Even when the band hits a rut, as is the case with the Americana-laced “Feel It in the Air”, they pull it off with the flair and verve of Ryan Adams circa Gold. Fans of singer-songwriter Tom Brousseau might also like the wistful waltz-y “Someday We All Must Die” and “Song for a Melody”. The ebb and flow of the album is quite refreshing, making for a very good record from top to bottom.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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