We’ve missed Marmozets. It’s been over three years since the noisy Yorkshire quintet burst onto the scene with their impressive debut album, The Weird and Wonderful. An extensive tour saw them play all over the world, concluding triumphantly on the Leeds festival main stage. After this, however, the group went into hibernation. Almost two years passed without a single live show or hint of new music. Finally, in 2017, Marmozets returned, playing a string of gigs and announcing their long-awaited second album: Knowing What You Know Now.
As the album’s title seems to suggest, the Marmozets of 2018 are older and wiser than the Marmozets of 2014; less afraid to take risks than their younger selves. While The Weird and Wonderful was wall-to-wall riffs (with the odd quiet moment), this new record is unashamedly adventurous. The first four tracks (including scorching comeback single ‘Play’) are high-energy numbers bursting with the familiar Marmozets fire. After this though, things start to move into uncharted territory.
The first major surprise comes with ‘Insomnia’: a slow, dreamy yet somewhat unsettling track that’s unlike anything Marmozets have done before. Later in the tracklisting, ‘Me & You’ slows things down again and demonstrates the band’s ability to strip away the heavy guitars and focus on raw emotion. In fact, Marmozets seem to be trying to prove that they don’t need heavy guitars or complex riffs to write straight forward, fun rock songs like ‘Start Again’ and ‘Lost in Translation’.
Riff enthusiasts should not despair, however, for while Knowing… features some of Marmozets’ least heavy material to date, it still has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. The riff at the end of ‘New Religion’, for example, is as circle-pit-worthy as anything from The Weird and Wonderful. The bouncy ‘Like a Battery’ remarkably switches from a Broadway-esque chorus into a massive, bass-driven breakdown worthy of a Death From Above track. Penultimate track ‘Suffocation’ also brings the noise, with a filthy main riff and deliciously heavy chorus.
It would be impossible to talk about a Marmozets record without mentioning perhaps their most valuable asset: Becca Macintyre‘s voice. By now Becca has already proven herself to be an incredibly talented vocalist, but with this new album she shows greater range than ever before. Her powerful singing voice elevates the soaring chorus of ‘Habits’ and the emotional, epic closer ‘Run With the Rhythm’ into something special. Meanwhile, her ferocious screams are perfectly demonstrated on the infectiously catchy ‘Meant to Be’. This level of versatility does lead to a few strange moments though, most notably on the slower tracks like ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Me & You’, where some fans may be put off by how different Becca sounds.
Knowing What You Know Now may take a little getting used to for lovers of the band’s debut, but in truth Marmozets have delivered a diverse, fearless and expertly crafted second album. The wait may have been long, but Marmozets are back.