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The Marsh 

The Marsh

As a cultural entity, rock and roll has fallen to the ranks of the walking dead. Its expressionless moans and hollow eyes blanked out by the 99Xs and the Buzzs leave it groping for a bite of the living to sustain its rotting flesh. Wading through this zombie holocaust, the Marsh's self-titled, self-released debut aims for the brain wielding quirky, emotive qualities as weapons.

The group's piano-driven numbers fuse pieces of Ween's "Voodoo Lady" and Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" with an animated shuffle, giving a jolt of life to rock's corpse via unconventional methods. Namely, not a single guitar flares up anywhere throughout the CD. Casting aside the ax makes any rock record an uphill battle. But the Marsh is less about unleashing sweaty acrobatics than it is attaining the feelings of radical self-expression and magical mystery of the '70s rock attitude, not a rigidly defined sound.

Vocalist Noah Pine's elfin croon ranges from creepy to trippy, drawing power from a whisper rather than a roar. Washes of organ, bass, piano and drums blend together in "Season" with soft and surreal motion. "Stars and Scars" and "Lie Back Down" unfold with zoned-out introspection while "Beginning to See the Truth" wafts between bluesy, prog rock jams and unnatural majesty.

Chad Radford

The Marsh plays the Drunken Unicorn with Variac, Sat., Sept. 24, 9 p.m. $6. 736 Ponce de Leon Place. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net.

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