Marah in the Mainsail brings an intensity to music rarely found anywhere else. Not many bands state their genre on Facebook as punk-grass, and there’s a reason for it. It’s a hard genre to do right, but with their punk influenced music played on blue grass instruments, Marah in the Mainsail gets it perfect.
Marah and the Mainsail’s strong folk sound is what Mumford and Sons only hopes to achieve with their own music. Mumford gets nowhere close to the perfect, raw aspects of most songs on Marah’s new EP, Devil Weeds and Dour Deeds. This EP is rough like the bark of a tree, while Mumford’s music is on the softer side, like the friendly bark of a dog.
“Birddog Butcher” is probably my favorite song off of Devil Weeds and Dour Deeds, while the slightly poppy “Drag You Down” is a close second. “Birddog Butchers” verses are deeply rooted in folk, while the chorus climaxes into a loud punk sound, so it’s the perfect example of how Marah straddles the two worlds. On the other side of things, “Drag You Down” differentiates itself from the rest of the album with its bouncy, pop-like rhythms, and more consistent bluegrass sound.
Marah in the Mainsail relates to punk in how their music is layered and presented. The sounds of the formidable drums and banjo riffs during “Birddog Butcher” rub together and create an almost uncomfortable sensation at first. I felt the sudden urge to mosh as the song hit its climax. The way Marah relates to bluegrass and folk is certainly more apparent than its relation to punk. In all of Marah’s songs, the instrumentation is almost all bluegrass. Bluegrass instruments to me, have the most specific sound out of all the instruments out there. When a band plays with banjos and washboards, there is an obvious difference, and Marah in the Mainsail takes that difference into their own hands.
Marah in the Mainsail blends the best aspects of bluegrass and punk music to create an intense, world straddling sound.
Read THE GARAGE’s February interview with Marah in the Mainsail.