Chewy Marble was formed by Wondermints bassist Brian Kassan in 1995 and the first two albums of the band did not stray far from the Wondermints tree, with Beatlesque melodies and sunny pop harmonies in it's self-titled debut and the 2001 follow up "Bowl of Surreal." Over the next six years, Brian wrote songs for "Modulations" and enlisted Nelson Bragg of Brian’s Wilson’s touring band and others to update the sound. Lots of stylistic variety here. Less pop and closer to traditional rock, the opener "She Roxx" has the hooks that make this a cut above. The clean power pop melody shine on "Cross Hatched World" with those wonderful choruses sure to please fans of the previous albums. The follow up "Somewhere Else" takes a psychedelic turn, as it resembles a track from The Pillbugs. Midway through the tracks, the tone changes and it's not all sunshine, but a variety of personal reflections as illustrated by "Black and White" with it's compelling lyrics and guitar breaks. Fans of Alan Parsons Project will appreciate the melodic tones combined with the adult subject matter. The shuffle of the ballad "Flicker" plays like a sober Syd Barrett seeing time pass by. This theme continues on "My Monster" and the poignant ballad "Hey Dad" is a perfect Father's Day song. The album ender "Clutter" is another heart felt narrative from the point of view of a pack rat, and one of my favorites on this album. It opens with the lyric, "The more I collect, I can't throw away..." when it comes to music I can identify with that. -Powerpopaholic.blogspot.com
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