A volatile and beautiful full-length debut
Sometimes low production value can be a positive thing. In the case of Marinara, their rough around the edges style creates a sense of closeness and endearing sloppiness, like a nice garage rock song. They feel like the loud neighbors that are always making music and writing their next lyrical lamentation, but it generally sounds pretty good so no one really bothers them. I Feel Like Dog is a more refined (but not too refined) version of these stress-relieving garage sessions, in the form of an album.
An important distinction to make when it comes to Marinara’s music is that none of it ever sounds accidental. While there is natural volatility to the music that makes the experience unique, the album absolutely feels fully developed. While moments like the conclusion of “Adult Body” can feel noisy, surprising and overwhelming, this is where the strength of an album like this lies. The album seeks to fit that insane emotional volatility that one can experience on wax, and the effort that goes into capturing that sound and attitude clearly and succinctly ensures that the listening experience remains relatable.
The best track on the album, “Ugly Sleeper,” might be the perfect case study for this style. The longing, “we don’t speak anymore,” refrain is the emotional core of the track, but the background screams and whiny, backing guitar, paired with a few clearer licks represent one’s emotional fragility. Quite a few of I Feel Like Dog’s many great tracks share this set of features. Another great example of the album expressing that personal volatility right is the noisy and disorienting second half of “Marie”. More deliberate tracks like “The Orchid” and “The Wasp” allow the group’s lyrical and vocal ability to shine, while tracks like “Desert Schtick” and “Regine 3” keep the momentum going with bursts of high energy.
Overall, Marinara does an excellent job throughout the entire album of cycling between the more noisy/indie, punk-adjacent styles with the slower parts. The project feels complete without reaching the point of being overproduced, which would’ve gotten in the way of the group’s style. As discussed earlier, I Feel Like Dog feels like an accurate depiction of someone in emotional distress. Marinara’s fantastic and diverse instrumentation matches their lovely and personal lyrical style beautifully. This band might just be something special.