(EP cover. design: Michael Lucero)
Marbled Eye‘s debut comes at a time when uninformed critics have used Silicon Valley’s Bay migration and the subsequent displacement of local artists to question the state of the area’s music scene.
Although initially conceived by Chris Natividad and Michael Lucero, Marbled Eye’s members also perform with Meat Market, Unity, Useless Eaters, Golden Drugs, and Creepers. The groups self-titled EP serves as another reminder that the Bay’s scene is far from uninspired. The songs are concise, well written, and consistent. There’s the immediacy of opener “Coated,” the cutting, pensive leads on “Primrose,” and perhaps the EP’s most memorable track, closer “Oddity,” where the band leans into the pop sensibility that’s subdued across other tracks.
The instrumentation simultaneously invokes the post-punk stylings of both the Pacific Northwest and the Austin, Texas scene — spidery guitar leads over driving rhythms paired with deadpan vocals. Although many of the lyrical themes seem tied to the genre, the casual delivery gives the often tense tracks a playfulness that serves the songs, and doesn’t detract. The EP was recorded at the increasingly prominent “Secret Bathroom” in West Oakland, and showcases the evolving chops of the studios most active engineer and producer, Andrew Oswald. Listen below.