Married to Music

Sweet Kicking And Screaming

Married to Music - Sweet Kicking And Screaming ©2005 Rake Records
1. Blame The Accident
2. Sweet Kicking And Screaming
3. Money In Mind
4. Twins
5. No Worse Or Any Better
6. Chinese Ladder
7. Tie Another On
8. Enjoy It
9. Man's Best Friend
10. Two Questions For Each Answer
11. Lost In The Street

Everyone knows the old adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover." In the case of Vancouver's Married to Music, that fully applies - assuming you're bright enough to substitute "band" for "book" and "name" for "cover". If you haven't made those mental leaps, then perhaps this review isn't for you, nor is everyday existence. You may want to look into Oregon's assisted suicide laws.

But enough discussion about population control. We have bigger fish to fry.

Married to Music is a young three piece from Vancouver, British Columbia, for those who a) weren't paying attention to the first paragraph and b) have geographical deficiencies. The trio, made up of Byron Slack, his brother Adam Slack and drummer Adam Hayes, plays a sort of condensed high speed melodic punk that has an enough of a twist to catch the ears of this jaded reporter. The band also has enough sense to realize their true place of spotlight is onstage, where they can be summarized simply as "a force of nature", a quote I heard from the infamous music reviewer John Chedsey after Married to Music opened for the also infamous Hanson Brothers in Vancouver a few months ago. Chedsey then suited up as the ref and was pummelled around in the pit by puck rock fans much more burly than himself. He had it coming.

Married to Music's sound is tighter than a Christian Fundamentalist maiden's knees. Some have compared the band to Helmet, an analogy I find flawed because Married to Music is actually good. But I suppose the "tight" comparison works as MtM is incredibly locked into one another. The other most notable aspect of their sound is singer/guitarist Byron Slack's bizarre high pitched wail. It almost comes across as comical, but if you were to have a conversation with the young lad, you'd suddenly realize it's a natural extension of his speaking voice. New listeners might be taken aback for a song or two, but in the end it works. Married to Music has the ability to rampage forward at turbo speeds with repetitive, circular riffs that should make you want to whip your torso about like a string puppet. And that should in turn give folks like me someone to make fun of at a live show. The band particularly excels on this album during the opener "Blame the Accident", the whirling title track and the fantastic closer "Lost in the Street", which gives bassist Adam Slack a nice noodling counterpart to the main guitar and vocal melodies.

So as I emphasized in the opening portion of this manifesto, don't be turned off by the band's rather hokey name. This is by far one of the most impressive bands I've heard in a long time, both on compact disc and onstage. By rights, they should be getting far more attention than any band of clones on Fat Wreck Chords or Epitaph.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2006

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