Marseille Figs – The Dirty Canon

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Marseille Figs make music like the 20th century didn’t happen. This is Wild West saloon, honky-tonk, Cajun, spit ‘n’ sawdust, frontier-town, barnstorming rabble-rousing – more authentic than Rednex’s Cotton Eyed Joe maybe, but not by much. The trio, led by Californian, London-based J Maizlish, cause all kinds of discordant noises with ukuleles, mouth harps, screaming sax and Maizlish’s own gee-shucks, yodel-shaped singing. And they just about get away with it on songs that take a lead from less dusty sources, such as the Nick Cave badass growl of Caeser’s Revenge or the Stooges-like organ riff of Skin & Bones. To their credit, they possess talent, style, stories and humour in abundance. It’s just hard to imagine the scenario of listening to the album casually, because when ye olde sound doesn’t work, it really doesn’t. If only they’d been born in the 1860s.

Released 19 Nov



Filed under albums, music, reviews

2 responses to “Marseille Figs – The Dirty Canon

  1. lemonhead

    Was just looking for info about this record, I bought it last week at a cinematic orchestra gig and I’m listening to it all the time. You don’t even mention Tom Chant’s sax work – like the 20th century didn’t happen? I don’t think it’s meant to sound “authentic”, its a complex record and maybe you’re missing the point.

  2. lotsofrandomwords

    Hi Lemonhead, as this review was originally for print, I didn’t have space to discuss every instrument featured in minute detail, although maybe you missed the reference to ‘screaming sax’. I agree, it is a complex record, and more interesting than 99% of most new music, but I don’t think I’m ‘missing the point’ by implying that it’s not a particularly satisfying listen. But that’s the beauty of music, it all boils down to personal taste.

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