Maribel – Aesthetics

Maribel - Aesthetics

Maribel band members Liv, Kjetil, Lewi, and Pål hail from Norway and they create unremittingly lacerating, dreamy, melodic, and warped noise à la Serena-Maneesh, with a generous helping of My Bloody Valentine and A Place To Bury Strangers swirled into the gnashing, dashing sonic sea.  The unadulterated tunes overtake the listener with an acute, relentless rhythm of pounded drums and cymbals, winding and fuzzed-out, distorted guitar riffs and drones, floating layers of impassive male and female vocals, and the sound of static that clings to all of the songs.

The band’s album Aesthetics has been out since spring on Quince Records in the U.S. and Japan and that version includes “Spit Voyage” which was previously released on Maribel’s 7-inch Taste The Trash.  The song presses with a keen edge of buffeting drum beat and all sorts of ear-piercing goodness like sharp ‘n’ sheering, yet somehow still sinuous, guitar distortion and exclaiming, echoed male and female vocals.

The hypnotic pull of “Siamese Eyes” features an unyielding march of a beat battling against bright and slowly-writhing Middle Eastern-tinged lines, squalling, stinging guitars, and mainly male vocals.  An insistent tempo runs through “Ecstatic”, as well as fast-hit tambourine, snaking, fuzzed-out guitars, and upfront female vocals that repeatedly intone phrases like “ “Inside of me…where beauty lies.” and “You’re losing breath, my oxygen.”  Once the guitars consume the laid-back trip-hop beat of “Flesh and Blood”, it sounds like it could be a long-lost My Bloody Valentine track with a radiantly woozy vibe of looming, scraping guitars and dazed ‘n’ glazed male vocals.

The Serena-Maneesh and My Bloody Valentine hybrid “Downstairs” slows the pace down a bit while keeping a hard sheen of tambourine hits and gritty ‘n’ snarling guitar line wrapping around swoony, up-front female vocals and out-of-focus male vocals in the background that drift off into a pleasurable miasma.  “Euphoric Licks” spotlights light, breathy female vocals that float like down in the air amid a sharp, circling guitar line that threatens to pierce the dreamy spell.

Although “Soothe” is a relative balm of calm, a steady backdrop of aural agitation still pervades the My Bloody Valentinesque atmosphere.  Nothing is ever completely placid in Maribel’s world.  A low-range grind and frisson, high-shining chings, and sighing, lambent male ‘n’ female twining vocals that resemble Kevin Shields and B’linda Butcher find purchase beside repeated hits of tambourine and destabilized guitar lines.