Lo-Fi One-Man Punk
Twin Cousins Records – June 17, 2017
J. Marinelli is known well around Lexington for his quick songs and only-the-essentials stage-setup – a guitar on his lap and drums set up at his feet. Though songs on Stray Volts move by quickly, Marinelli doesn’t use this as an excuse to phone it in with his lyrics. “The Dead Don’t Need Us” is a laid-back, slow track that uses ideas of vanity and fixation-with-life-on-earth to set up the repeated “the dead don’t need us.” Following immediately is the sub-one-minute-track, “Humble-Brag Man” – the shortest and fastest-moving track on the album. Despite the rapid-fire delivery of the lyrics, Marinelli packs the song with a harsh critique of the ‘humble-brag man’ (we all know one), ending the bridge with “his false modesty is such a drag.” The delivery on “Cocaine Activist” is more pronounced and pointed, where J. describes a ‘pat-yourself-on-the-back’ kind of guy taking advantage of us, the bridge ending in “with rhetoric so desperate, intentions that they motivate are less than pure, they’ll always leave you sore.” At four-and-a-half minutes, “Creak and Sway” is nearly twice as long as any other song on the album – it’s a dark song full of pain, and with a lot of room to breathe, it serves as a nice break from the intensity of much of the rest of the album. Stray Volts is J. Marinelli at his finest – catchy, lo-fi rock with great melodies, clever lyrics, and nothing else that isn’t needed.
Tracks I Liked: Brand New Glasses!, Madison Girls!, The Dead Don’t Need Us!!, Humble-Brag Man!!!, Cocaine Activist!!, The Evil of Two Lessers!, Creak and Sway!
Ben Southworth – May 15, 2017 – Kenwick Place
Twin Cousins Records – May 15th, 2015
Stop Paying Attention goes as quickly as it comes – eleven ‘get-to-the-point’ songs that take up just seventeen minutes. Everything you hear over the course of the album is sung or played by Marinelli – he overdrives and distorts his guitars and vocals up to the point of near-obfuscation, but his messages are still pronounced loud and clear. “Acceptable Faces” reads as a burning criticism of establishment and privilege as he sings “no matter who your father knows, bother what your mother owns, you better pay up for a job well-done.” The title track is saved for last, and launches directly into a denunciation of the toxicity of tabloids and media – it serves well as a summation of the album, calling listeners to be honest with themselves and to be better than the nonsense that surrounds them. Stop Paying Attention is an album trimmed of every ounce of fat, frills, or extra weight that charges straight through with clear, honest intention.
Tracks I Liked: Saturn of Clarksburg, Human Landmine, Acceptable Faces, Stop Paying Attention
Ben Southworth – September 21st, 2015 – Kenwick Place