John Squire

Marshall's House

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John Squire's second solo album is a loose, chugging affair built on bright ringing guitars and the artist's appealingly scraggled voice. While Marshall's House is, at heart, a concept album inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, Squire's scratchy warbled vocals and the music's bohemian shuffle register stronger than any conceptual theme. Like Liam and Noel Gallagher, Robyn Hitchcock, the Lilys, and World Party's Karl Wallinger, Squire mines the catchy psychedelic landscape of heroes like the Beatles and the Pretty Things. Squire's twist is a punchy bar feeling akin to Nick Lowe's. Where some neo-psychedelic followers strive for catchy choruses, with Squire it's about an overall mood of hazy rock. As such, Marshall's House isn't the sort of album to spawn hit singles. Rather, it's one that sets a single cool tone, rocks a bit here and there, and settles into chilled grooves. It's safe to say that Squire's voice is an acquired taste that some listeners might have trouble appreciating, and with this album his voice becomes increasingly disheveled with each new song. This is actually a blessing for fans, because Squire's voice and guitar are a perfect fit on these 11 songs. Newcomers weaned on the Stone Roses might lose their footing, but listeners looking for a sublime blend of pub rock and psychedelic rock are in for a treat. Marshall's House might sound out-of-place compared to music-topping the charts in 2004, but it's a sublime, rocking experience that kicks out timeless jams and confirms John Squire's ace musical sensibilities.

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