Brisbane’s L.R. Marsh is back with a brand new record Inside Outlines. Gritty and powerful, it puts a fresh twist on blues-rock.
From the first phrases of Getaway — the opener on L.R. Marsh’s new album, Inside Outlines — you’re immediately transported to the delta. With its perfectly honed slide guitar riff, coupled with Marsh’s bluesy croons — you couldn’t be anywhere else.
About 25 seconds in, however, a new element is brought to the front of the mix: a tidal wave of distortion and a wall of irresistible groove. This kind of surprise is one that typifies the record: a collection of tracks that pay faithful homage to the traditions of blues and roots, but it isn’t afraid to supercharge them.
Much of the credit for how this record feels must go to the team behind the boards. It’s an extensive one, with production and mixing from Julian Schweitzer, co-production from Marsh himself, Sarah Trankalis, and Bernie Wedrat (Wedrat also engineered the recording), and mastering from Joe Carra. Together, they’ve forged a sound that explodes from the speakers.
Take the second track, Living Bad, for example. The guitar alone is a powerhouse, but when the ensemble kicks in (guitar and bass courtesy of Marsh, with Mark Henman behind the kit), the track comes to life. Stereo layered guitars envelop you, the drums are reverberant and energetic, the bass adds a ton of horsepower to the bottom end, while the lead vocal cuts through the mix like a chainsaw. It’s roots-rock, but supersized to fill a stadium.
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But that doesn’t mean more delicate textures aren’t explored. The album takes a turn for the unexpected on Devil & The Black Dog — an effortlessly melodic track, with acoustic guitar and a more relaxed groove. The torpid heat of the delta is evoked in the atmospheric and spacious Take It Slow, while Mother Mary feels more intimate and relaxed with its funky feel.
Closing out with Roll & Tumble and a blistering cover of Tom Waits’ Goin’ Out West, the epic proportions of the album’s beginning are brought back for one final celebration. By bringing it back full-circle, it reminds us that Inside Outlines represents a journey through the many colours of heavy southern rock. It’s clear that L.R. Marsh is enjoying the ride.
Dive into Inside Outlines below: