Beats aren't lonely

I'm rarely attracted to peppy pop music. Except for, y'know, peppy power pop with understated monster hooks. J. Marco's sensibilities are of a time (the mid 80s, my high school salad days) that really appeals to me. How someone his age could put together a set of bashy new wave-ish rockers is beyond me.

J. Marco

Marco is based in Nashville, and I assume he's familiar with the work of Charlie Sexton. These songs are poppier than Sexton's exceedingly poppy debut album, but he's got the buzzsaw rhythm and ringing lead guitar (obviously influenced by Mike Campbell) that characterized that album.

More interesting to me, however, is the obvious influence of the Cure. In fact, I haven't heard an album that owes so much to Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me in ages. Marco's vocals are completely straightforward and unaffected, but the keyboard-laced guitar sound is an almost dead ringer for the poppier songs on that set.

Marco is peppier than Robert Smith in every way, so much so that I imagine a lot of people will look at this sideways after they give this a listen. That's cool. If you want to think of this as the "Heartbreaker Cure," you're on the right track. That's a marriage few have contemplated, I think.

It's not always a mistake to go back to the 80s. J. Marco shows just how fun such an excursion can be. Now, if he could only get Giorgio Moroder to do a few remixes, we might be in heaven.

Jon Worley

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