About a year ago, I met and interviewed the band Marbin, a high-energy Rock/Jazz hybrid that had impressed me with songs like, 'African Shabtay' and 'Redline' on their social media/YouTube video campaign the year before. Since my first Marbin show, I have been lucky enough to see them three more times and we have become fast friends; sharing many musical interests and debating the ins-and-outs of the music industry on various occasions.
As musicians, Marbin is growing exponentially; each member giving it they’re all on stage, every night, traveling the county and the world. Their musical influences and growth can be heard in their most recent compositions, which lean more into psychedelic and ballad like movements; leaving more room for improvisation and modulation within live performances. Marbin is constantly evolving, adding new intros, outros and transitions into their already solid repertoire.
Their newest unreleased album titled, "Israeli Jazz" seems to have woken more creativity inside this band, as they play these new songs with a raw and driving intensity. 'Israeli Jazz' the title track from the newest album, is hard and transient, smooth and razor sharp. I look forward to hearing the entire album and doing a full review when it is completed.
Dani Rabin shows exceptional guitar skills, on par, if not greater than, many guitarists in the progressive Jazz and Jam scene. Dani is always growing and expanding his musical education, incorporating those Gypsy Jazz scales he loves so much, into the music he constantly creates. Danny Markovitch is the backbone of this group and although he stands to the side during solos, he is always solemnly contemplating what comes next and critically evaluating every note. Jon Nadel is the perfect bass player for this band and although, he isn't an original member, he keeps both Danny and Dani in check while bringing a masterful bass technique and skill on his fret-to-fretless bass guitar. The heartbeat of Marbin is drummer Blake Jiracek, who is always in his own world, tirelessly keeping up with the other members and pushing the rhythmic structure further and further.
While Marbin, hasn't reached the peak of their success, little by little, they are gaining attention and amassing a loyal following just waiting for them to explode on to the scene but which scene? Finding that direction is highly important to what Marbin could become in the future. I am sure that they will succeed in any musical route/niche they decide to pursue and I will be along for the ride.
I am looking forward to another Marbin performance in Harrisonburg, Virginia on April 4 at the Golden Pony. If you live in or around the area, feel free to contact me and we can meet up! If not, check this band out when they come to you locally, I am always truly blown away.
The Afro Nick Song And Album Review
Having opened up to experiencing new albums, new music and doing diverse musical reviews, The Afro Nick album came to me and while it's not right up my alley musically, I wanted to give it a go and try something new. The Afro Nick is heavily influenced by the deities of Rock and Roll like: Hendrix, Zeppelin Bob Marley, and Santana. The Afro Nick came to New York City from Greece, and has been playing various gigs in the US and abroad.
The Afro Nick’s most recent single "Get There Before Noon" is raw and emotional. (Available online goo.gl/ZYQJYm) This was my first time listening to The Afro Nick and I wasn't sure what to expect. It turned out to be my favorite. It is emotional and poignant and well performed and recorded, the lyrics inspiring to those who wish to listen. It takes you into high-energy ride down the highway, a sense of nothing to loose but the road and life left behind. It is a great introduction into what The Afro Nick has to showcase and it reminded me of The Black Angels or something in that realm of musical delivery.
The self titled album, (Available on Amazon dld.bz/d7wmc) The Afro Nick starts off with hard rock, driving guitar riff that make you immediately think of classic rock staples from the 1960s-70s. The Afro Nick’s vocals stand out and are original and stylistically unique, adding character to each song. This is a well-produced salbum with great musical structures and backing vocals. "Like Movie Stars" takes a hard turn into more Lou Reed inspired accents but stays fairly hard and keeps its rustic feel. The chorus reminds me of many classic 60s songs including that authentic tambourine shaking in the background. This song offers chanting lyrics that seem to get stuck in your head. Singer Britanny Foushee makes a haunting vocal appearance giving it a smooth and soulful character.
"You and Me" delves deeper into the soul and psyche of The Afro Nick, with lyrics that are very revenant and thought provoking. There is almost a Socio-political message with Afro Nicks lyrics but they are more informative than that, they are spiritual, while still remaining earthly. The influence from Classic Rock artists from the 1960s-70s is clear and defined within this song and its musical structures. Good instrumental solos on guitar with clear and precise intent. "Sunny" is exactly as the name suggests, happy, fun and warm, reminiscent of the musician’s Greek background; a cheering anthem to the uninhibited and stress free life.
"Ta Too Ta" starts off strong with distorted guitar chords and reverberated vocals. This song certainly has a clear message and you have to really listen to get the meaning. “Ta Too Ta” juxtaposes the lyrical theme of money and it's hardships. Nice vocal break down at the end. "Dream Big" again has a social message, which reminds me of Bob Marley and his lyrical choices in the past. The Afro Nick takes the listener on a soul-searching journey through question after question. "Make It" is the medical remedy for those hard rock fans. With its anti-establishment and anarchist tones, the beats are fast paced and extremely edgy with inspirational undertones.
"It's You" is Classic Rock driven but the breakdown are more grunge-punk style. This song blasted through my speakers and is one of the best-mixed songs on the entire album. Great guitar work and rock structures. "Free Like Me" was the next song on the album and again we see the same thematic approach to lyrics and meaning. This song is liberating for those who seek it. "Don't Waste My Time" closes out the lyrical portion of this album and I think it's a great closing choice. The vocal arrangement is much like David Bowie in the vocal strength and ability. “Here, Just For Tonight" is an apt ending to close out the album leading the listeners into instrumental plays.
All around, The Afro Nick is original and creative and the lyrics resonate with the audience. This album would sell very well internationally and with today's economic, social and political activism playing a huge role in societal formatting, The Afro Nick’s message would give strength to those who wish to make changes not only within themselves but in the world around them. You can check out more of The Afro Nick here and catch a live performance if you can! Also, if you are a musician or a band consider hiring him to produce your Album! The Afro Nick LLC recently produced Didi DLicious that you can check here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3y5roGwm8Z3PNuiBAhOYNe