Premiere: Sydney’s Marveline serves up a darker dose of pop with the synth buzz of ‘Evil Worm’, and announces launch gig.

The solo work of Pete Marley (from The Nature Strip) under the name Marveline, has always delivered the most exquisite, intelligent and articulate pop, and we are honoured to be able to premiere his new track ‘Evil Worm’. It’s been a while since Marveline released ‘Fly By Instruments’ back in June (reviewed by me here) and in the intervening time Sydney faced one of its most prolonged periods of lockdown and deprivation. In a sense, the effects bleed into Marveline’s new track where there is to be detected a scintilla of darkness and anger and little of the inherent whimsy we identified before.

A metallic clanking and a bank of rough hewn synths fuzz their way into your senses. A pounding, insistent rhythm and clickety clack percussion ominously thunder underneath the fast moving current, and Marley’s voice seems to have had all sweetness and light surgically extracted: frustration and anger bubble on the surface. The Evil Worm is undoubtedly a single digit wave to COVID:

It’s sucking me dry they can’t tell me why stay off my street
Tried fighting their way why won’t it die
Evil Worm

Marley wryly acknowledges the darker turn:

I think I’ve been reading too much news – so much appears to be going to shit and there are so many buffoons and thugs running things. I think I’ve internalised it and it’s poisoning me, this is me getting it out. The next tune is much more optimistic, I promise.

You think of the cavernous electronic thunder of Gary Numan and Tubeway Army with the attitude and sneering swagger of the Sex Pistols all wrapped up in the melodies that would do XTC proud. For, despite all the darkness, Marley still has that unerring ear for the pop melody and the ascendant chorus. This is a dynamic and visceral Marveline that still manages to snap, crackle and pop like opening a shaken can of soft drink.

Out tomorrow, you can listen to and get the single through the link below:

Streaming links will arrive later on 10 December 2021. Marveline will be taking its collective sonic wares out to the public with a launch gig for ‘Evil Worm’ on 3 December 2021 at the venue of the moment, the Hiway Bar in Enmore, with terrific supports from Tom Ryder and Warmer (John Encarnacao from The Nature Strip’s band) – details and tickets here.

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