Marina Rocks – Austin To Houston
Though rooted in country rock this young artist has the aggressive tone & inflection of Patti Smith. “Joy Ride,” has a little Spanish-melodic twist with a rock-inspired rap — but Marina’s arrangement of this song with her expressive guitar playing is quite appealing. Aside from the entertaining propulsion of these songs Marina Rocks (vocals/Godin a6 vintage guitar/Fender Strat/Fender Kustom Shop Prosonic Amp) has an excellent image. She’s damn good.
Her voice captivates & instead of putting the pilot flame up high she perfectly heats things up with a steady groove & incessant beat as she touches on social issues through her confident performances. With a great band backing her she delves into “Cray, Cray,” – a mesmerizing old rock song style that gains altitude with its repetitious whisk soaked in both a memorable melody & Marina’s inventive playing.
I’m most impressed with how Marina finds the right lyric to emphasize & curl around in her mouth like a peppermint ball. Allowing it to melt slowly & letting the flavor last even after the song’s over. These 8 songs are textured with passion as “Sleepy Hollow” — just a touch of echo sweetens Marina’s voice. Her presence in this tune is an ideal headphone song.
Recorded in Houston, TX the 33-minute Austin To Houston (Dropped July 15–Independent) CD finds the Austin native with the distinguished energy of Melissa Etheridge & Australia’s Shona Laing. There’s never any slowing down at the curves. This is her 4th LP.
“Shine” is superb with its multiple voices that Marina layers throughout. Including a child-like Nanci Griffith tone as the guitars splash all around in a well-recorded take. I think the appropriate word is dynamic. That sums up Ms. Rocks – this is a great song. “Comeback Kid,” is somewhat a swipe at Bruce Springsteen territory. That’s fine, but Marina has done better. It’s her vocalizing that keeps this anchored as well as the brief vibrant foot stomping & hand clapping interlude.
Marina has good creative elements in the tradition of Bonnie Raitt — that reach for mainstream ears. I liked all her songs. But the CD was far too short a collection. A reprise of “Sleepy Hollow” instrumentally sounds like the late guitar virtuoso John Fahey communicating through Marina’s fingers. Stunning work.
Players include Grammy-Award-winning Lloyd Maines (Pedal steel), Pat Menske (percussion), Alex Rodriguez & Aden Bubeck (bass). Photo courtesy of Dee Hill. CD @ https://www.marinarocks.com/home