Album Review: Marietta – Summer Death

Marietta has been a part of the Philadelphia punk and emo scene for about two years, bringing an awesome live show to basements in different parts of the city. While they have performed many times during their life span, Marietta has not had much to show for themselves in the way of recordings except for a few EPs and splits (one with Modern Baseball). This changed in a big way this past October, with the release of their debut full length album, Summer Death.

From the moment the album begins with “…so they left me at a gas station,” we are swept up in the twinkly riffs and emotional whirlwind created by vocalists and guitarists Evan Lescallette and Ethan Willard. This song alone encompasses so many cool parts, going from somber and chill to raging and angry in a way that is fluent and well planned. Honestly, every track is full of these changes and no song really follows the typical verse/chorus structure. Instead, you never know what the next moment will bring. Marietta keeps you on our toes, making the outbursts seem even more candid and heartfelt. “cinco de mayo shit show” takes us down in a soft way, with sweet harmonies sung by guest vocalist Emily Sheerin, until the band decides to express just how fed up they are: “I’m getting too old for this shit / I’m throwing fits and acting like a kid again”. During these moments, bassist Ben Johnson plays heavy and grounding lines while drummer Andrew Weigel crashes cymbals and composes some killer fills. The band creates an awesome full sound, especially with the added gang of vocalists you’re likely to hear at a Marietta show. These singers come at the most opportune times, especially on “god bless eric taylor”. Probably the best song on the album, with the an ending build up that finishes with both vocalists singing “Come with me, I promise the water is fine / I need something else to convince me I won’t die” as multiple vocalists come in to sing woah’s.

This album is impressive, especially considering the members of Marietta are all in their early twenties. The amount of different musical and lyrical content is intriguing. There are so many different riffs and progressions in these songs that the album just makes you want to keep listening. “deck wine” is particularly refreshing, with a super upbeat math riff over the lyrics “these hospital rooms knew us better than we knew ourselves / summer death / some are dead / watching from the bookshelves”. Evidence that even when the music sounds like Marietta is happy, they’re probably not. Ending the album with “fuck, dantooine is big,” Marietta revisits better and younger times.

Summer Death was recorded locally in a few different places. Between East Room Recording Studio, a few basements, and Drexel University this album sounds very well produced. Props to Eric Muth of East Room Recording for recording, engineering, and mixing and to Pat Loundas of The Hundred Acre Woods for mastering a great sounding DIY album.

Marietta has succeeded in creating something that can truly be called a cohesive album. With fresh songwriting and honest lyrics, Marietta’s newest release shows that if there is a so-called emo revival, they will be a big part of it. Pick up Summer Death on vinyl from Soft Speak Records here, or digitally on bandcamp.

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  1. Pingback: Marietta clean up nicely for their sophomore effort, As It Were | The Key

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