Muscle and Marrow - Love
I'm not sure what to do. I don't know if I absolutely love this record, or if I really just can't stand it. I'd not heard Muscle and Marrow before hearing Love, so I went into it totally blind, having no idea what to expect. After listening and trying to digest the music, I realized I was wrecked, and quite lost.
I mean, from a purely sonic standpoint, I'm floored by it. The music itself seems to come from a place of strength and confidence, those mid-tempo rhythms pushing forward from the first track through the whole record, giving it a very heavy and direct sensibility. Even when the pace slows down, I still feel like the music is moving forward, taking me somewhere.
But the overwhelming feeling on the record is one of intense vulnerability, defined by the lyrics and the gorgeous (often operatic) vocals of Kira Clark. Don't misunderstand me - that's not a bad thing. In fact, it's quite wonderful. But those two distinct undertones that I can't seem to reconcile make the experience of listening to the record difficult to categorize. I'm turned around, twisted up in a ball, tied in knots, and no matter what I do, I can't get my bearings at all.
One thing is certain, however: I'm not going to stop listening to Love for quite some time. It's so beautiful and complex that once it gets in you, it's impossible to get rid of. It makes me explore, and even if it takes me to darker places that I'm not ready to see, I can only be thankful for the experience.
The record is available now from The Flenser. Buy it on CD or vinyl here, or buy the digital edition on Bandcamp.