Progressive/experimental rock band Zechs Marquise release their second full-length album, Getting Paid, on the 27th. It’s an album for fans of (mostly) instrumental progressive rock music or The Mars Volta, considering they’re affiliated with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of TMV and feature three more Rodriguez-Lopezes themselves: Marcel, Marfred, and Rikardo. If you’re into The Mars Volta and their challenging array of different styles, song structures, and rhythms, you’ll most likely enjoy Zechs.
Within the first forty seconds or so of Getting Paid‘s title track you know you’re in for a funky and deliciously melodic sonic ride. It stops, starts, chugs along, slows down, and generally draws you in due to its instrumental precision and overall feel. Guitarists Matt Wilkson and Marcos Smith are is on full display on the track, which features some improvisational-sounding guitar melodies.
The experimentation continues with Lock Jaw Night Vision copping a retro-sounding disco/soul vibe. Cascading, fluttery guitar tones accentuate the psychedelic fury further. It’s nearly impossible to sit still while listening to this song.
A flurry of percussion and drum beats kick off Static Lovers, before the guitars again take center stage, playing off the layered drumkit-smashing and steady bass rhythms.
The Heat The Drought The Thirst And The Insanity features some breathy, ethereal female vocals over the course of its 7-minute running time, but they’re really only there to play off the expansive wall of sound.
Each track on Getting Paid has its own unique qualities that are worthy of appraisal. They’re the sort of songs that you expect to go one direction or straighten out and retain more of a “structure”, yet their unwillingness to adhere to expectation heightens their impact greatly.
Fellow Sargent House Records labelmate Matt Embree of Rx Bandits and ME & LP stops by Everlasing Beacon Of Light to lend some echoed, dreamlike vocals, but they don’t show up until after the three-minute mark. This is the sort of song to listen to on a long, ominous walk in the dark, the rippling melodies and synth creating quite a sonic journey.
As stated earlier, a standard “album review” doesn’t quite do an album like Getting Paid justice. It’s meant to be absorbed to be fully appreciated. If you’re into challenging experimental music with an adherence to progressive rhythms and unpredictability, than this is an album for you. It’s a focused, precise effort from the band, who are clearly at the top of their game.
Zechs Marquise will play two Los Angeles shows next week to coincide with the album’s release, so make sure you’re there. View tour date information here.
To feast your ears on some Zechs Marquise goodness as a warm-up for the album, visit their Bandcamp page.