EP Review: Mary In The Junkyard – This Old House

Steve Gullick

Mary In The Junkyard are an exciting experimental rock trio composed of guitarist and vocalist Clari Freeman-Taylor, bassist and viola player Saya Barbaglia, and drummer David Addison. With several live shows under their belts and a handful of singles, they have released their first EP, ‘This Old House’. It’s zany, exceptionally written, beautifully delivered, and altogether absolutely brilliant.

Opening the EP is the looping and slightly unhinged ‘Ghost’. It lurches and stumbles over a buried sweet melody, particularly Freeman-Taylor’s voice. It’s all lilting and fragile one minute, then biting your head off the next in a slightly demon-possessed, The Exorcist kind of way. It’s not a million miles away from folk songstress Laura Marling, except that she’s falling off a cliff with a full band.

The fun, poetic brilliance of Marble Arch leaves the listener astounded and in need of a repeat listen. The track doesn’t stay still and weaves through clicking percussion, gentle swaying rhythms, and banging guitar chords. Again, frontwoman Freeman-Taylor brings captivating energy over the low-down thump of Barbaglia bass, doing her best to keep everything grounded.

‘Goop’ is all scratchy violas, tumbling drums, and rushed urgent words of one who is possessed. Addison does a great job keeping up with the band’s weirdness with his vast array of percussive skills. The hypnotic snapping sticks during one of Freeman-Taylor’s trippy soliloquies is spot on, as is the drum rattling during Barbaglia’s viola adventures.

Ignoring the horror soundtrack strings that float in the background, ‘Teeth’ may well be the most normal track on the EP if I were to push normal. That is until the drums come crashing and the vocal wanderings. The guitar sits deep in the mix on most of these songs, buried by the lush bass sounds and crashing drums that fall over the track like waves on a beach.

The fact is, there aren’t many bands that sound like Mary In The Junkyard, and there aren’t many that sound as good. They have the ability to craft a style of their own and keep each song different but more captivating, so in the end, you aren’t quite ready to return to reality, and another spin feels like a good idea.

Check out the track Goop, below

Mary in the junkyard summer Dates
April 20 – Motel Mozaique, Rotterdam
May 17 – London Calling, Amsterdam
May 25 – Dot 2 Dot, Bristol
May 26 – Dot 2 Dot, Nottingham
June 15 – Brighten The Corners, Ipswich
June 30 – Bristol Sounds, Bristol
July 27 – Latitude, Suffolk
July 28 – Truck Festival, Oxfordshire
04 August – All Together Now, Waterford

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