Marianas Trench – Face the Music
By Josh Schonfeld
No strangers to success in their native Canada, Marianas Trench has decided (finally!) to cross the border and make a go of it in the United States. Signed to Cherrytree Records, a small record label that also signed Lady GaGa, La Roux, and Robyn, the quartet has just released a 4-track EP to start some buzz in the States with their biggest hits from their last album, Ever After.
While you may not know the lead singer by name, you certainly have sung his lyrics and got them stuck in your head for most of 2012. As the lead writer of “Call Me Maybe” by fellow countryman, Carly Rae Jepsen, Josh Ramsay has already found success in the US and around the globe, including getting nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys. Ramsay does not disappoint with the writing on Face the Music. With clear melody and rapid-fire alliteration, the lyrics have become the backbone of Marianas Trench’s success.
The highlight of the EP is “Haven’t Had Enough,” the band’s biggest hit. Peaking at #10 in the summer of 2011, “Haven’t Had Enough” actually dethroned Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” for a few days on iTunes Canada, an act that humbled Marianas Trench greatly. The song begins with Ramsay saying, “You and I might not be the best thing,” questioning whether or not the relationship he is pursuing is the right decision. Soon after, a myriad of funky guitars and pulsing drum beats, both real and electronic, propel the song into pop euphoria. Filled with wailing vocals and clever harmonies on the chorus, Ramsay ends by saying “You and I might just be the best thing,” giving the song both closure and a great storyline to end on.
The acoustic version of their big hit proves to show that they are not a generic boy band. Not only do they play their own instruments, but they understand the intricate art of harmonizing with only a simple melody to go by. “Desperate Measures” is the perfect introduction to American audiences. Not only does it cater to the American sound, but it also has a great comedic video, which is something Marianas Trench is known for in Canada. Powered by an electric guitar, the band employs the use of auto tune, not because of minimal talent, but because it sounds really damn cool!
Not only can Marianas Trench do comedy, but they are also known to switch it up with a great dramatic power ballad. Ramsay’s raspy voice backed by an epic wall of sound brings out the raw emotion surrounding “Fallout.” While obviously influenced by another Canadian rock band, Nickelback, Marianas Trench puts its own spin on the sound.
If you’re still not convinced that Marianas Trench is one of the greatest Canadian bands of the new millennium after Face the Music, then you’re either a xenophobe or you’re tone deaf. Between their hilarious videos and dramatic lyrics, this Canadian quartet is ready to blast into America with vigor and prove, once and for all, that Canada is more than hockey and snow, eh.