Mad Sense of Alice
From AMG Reviews The Marshmellows are Ian Marsh doing absolutely splendid vocals and keys, Marshall Stackwith doing very psychedelic guitars and vocals, Grant Deed on bass and vocals, and Dez Baker on drums. Chris Shryack guest guitars on 'Smoke.' Marsh's voice is 80 Lennonesque but you can hear Supertramp too. Think retro-pop psychedelia. Marsh's vocals are eerie echoes of John Lennon and that Beatles' harmonizing. His song composing is topnotch. Hooks are strong and multi-barbed. Vintage Beatles sound comes through loud and clear on 'Mad Sense of Alice,' 'Rainy Day,' 'Silver Jets,' and 'Good Enough.' With a lively, upbeat, melodic bassline driving things, 'Beast of the City' is very Oasis. The keys and dance floor beat in 'Glass House' is mid '80s Tears For Fears or Wang Chung teen angst. 'All the Way to the Bank' has a late Lennon introspective testimonial with cynical sarcasm in it's lyrics. We sign off with 'Goodbye 917' which is most likely the signature Marshmellows sound. We outro with classic Beatles pyscho-babble and other aural marginalia. John Patterson - All Music Guide --------------- 'Every now and then you stumble across a CD that comes out of nowhere and grabs a hold of you in such a way that you can't wait to introduce 'your new friend' to other pop fans. Once such treasure is Mad Sense Of Alice (MayDay Records '97) by the cleverly named Marshmellows. Don't let the dizzying cover art of pixel generated swirls send you running for the hills. Once you're past it, have pried out the disc and started it spinning... The birds are singing, the sun is shining and all of God's creatures are humping like there's no tomorrow. Although Mad Sense is in fact a band effort, the creator and soul of The Marshmellows is one Ian Marsh, and his talent looms as large as the lumbering Stay-Puft Man that terrorized Bill Murray at the end of the first Ghostbusters flick. An Englishman in his mid-twenties, Ian had been splitting his time between London and Los Angeles until finally settling on the latter as the place to record his debut album. With a flourishing pop scene and a horde of talented musicians in L.A., it was a logical choice. Surrounding himself with a most capable group of players, chords and words took root and blossomed into eleven dazzling pop tracks all dusted with psychedelia, great choruses and hooks big enough to hang the Mad Hatters' headwear on. Armed with this debut, Marsh then headed back to England and is currently assembling a band to help him take the Marshmellows sound out on the road. Clearly Marsh knows his music and elements of '70s FM radio, even some classical motifs, crawl in and out of the songs. From the first few notes of the disc's opener, 'Mad Sense of Alice' you know something special is going on here. Comparisons have been made to The Wondermints, and that's not too far of a stretch. While the Mints may enjoy better production values, The Marshmellows seem to have a slight edge when it comes to melodies. The harmonies, playing and Marsh's voice (which sounds like Michael Quercio, with a real English accent) are first-rate, and as such defy most of the limitations of an indie budget. Fans of carefully crafted pop will smile as track after track of keyboard based songs spin by. 'Change the World' sounds like George Harrison jamming with the Lightning Seeds, while 'Rainy Day' and 'Goodbye' both see the Lightning Seeds comparison intact, only this time John and Paul are nodded to respectfully. An outstanding debut effort and one of the best pop surprises of the year. Get this Marshmellow now, roast it over your lazer until crispy, add a little chocolate, a cookie crust and soon you and all your friends will be yelling for s'more.' Eno - Popsided --------------- 'The Marshmellows-Mad Sense Of Alice-Reminding me of so many bands strewn out all over the pop musical landscape of the last 30 years....but primarily influenced by one very recent one. The Wondermints. So that means lush, keyboard driven Beatles/Beach Boys/10CC inspired power pop(I (would throw in the first Toy Matinee album, too!). While not having quite the production values of the 'Mints, this CD is well conceived and produced given it's DIY nature....all the melodies, vocals and arrangements are not thin, by any means! Sinewy, curvy hooks are the identifying mark here......This band is capable of great things and this is a striking first step!!' Bruce Brodeen - NotLame --------------- 'Okay, here's mine. A couple of weeks ago, Bruce emphatically recommended that I buy from him an album called 'Mad Sense Of Alice', by a band called The Marshmellows. I did, and I'm really glad. Any of you who have the CDs by The Smile Zone or Poppynosh take note that The Marshmellows are in a similar vein, but about twice as good; Beatle/Klaatu esque pop with expressive vocals and lively instrumentation. After about 3 listens I was hooked, especially after I heard it with headphones. I'm pretty sure I paid about $10 or $11 for this one, and it was well worth it!' David Bash - Audities ---------------.