Up at The Quietus — a Mars review by yours truly

After a couple of earlier reviews, this piece on the new Mars compilation is my first formal piece for the site — and I’ll be working on more soon! Great stuff, that Mars comp, so check it out — a quote from my piece:

If every innovation becomes a hidebound reference point then theoretically the work of Mars should be nothing but boring classic rock at this point. An extreme sentiment, perhaps, but when listening to this short, half-hour long collection of eleven songs, initially one might wonder what the shouting was all about. The chug of ‘3E’ betrays the New York group’s origins jamming over Velvet Underground songs, and is spiked with the kind of nervously friendly edge that became tagged as New Wave more than No Wave. ‘11,000 Volts’ manages the neat trick of predicting both early Martin Hannett productions and the kind of dissonance with which Sonic Youth began their career. Then ‘Helen Forsdale’ starts, guitar as scraggly hyperspeed mosquito freakout and vocals as half-comprehensible chant, and things turn…wrong. In the right way.

While I’m at it — and as long as we’re talking about NYC acts that started in the seventies — check out my editor Luke Turner’s review of the new Suicide box set, which I really need to get!

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