The Mars EP –  The Room in the Wood (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

The Room in the Wood have a strange knack of wrapping influences up in other influences like sonic Russian dolls that upon opening lead you back down a sort of retro time travelling, sonic worm-hole. Mars (Wont Save Us), the lead track from their latest four track offering, of instance, is a prime example. Initially its a 2000’s era dark, alternative indie groover, open that up and  you get the more discerning end of some 90’s underground alt-rock echo, inside that is a vibe of 80’s post-punkery, which reveals 70’s psychedelia and finally a core of 60’s garage band boisterousness. That’s a long thread to tug at but it does reveal that whilst fad and fashion may change on the surface, the really cool sounds endure from one musical generation to another. They just get a little make over to match the times.


Time Machine is a sort of 60’s chamber-pop, croonerish piece but of the sort that is miles away from the usual conjured image but instead perhaps the resident act at the coolest underground club to be found in a Carnaby Street basement in 1965 and Every Lie, by contrast, is a blasted gothic country dirge. The EP ends with the same mix of influences that it began with, Get Clear being a song that seems so out of keeping with any popular genre of the last 60 years that it is by default timeless, resilient and exactly the sort of thing that those with the most discerning tastes would be hunting down in any era.

The Room in the Wood have done it again, music that is at once brilliant and baffling, completely unexpected and enthusiastically welcome, odd and unfashionable and all the more cool for it. Why try to conform to someone else idea of what music should sound like when they are having much more fun inventing genres which probably never existed in the first place?

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