Marriages lead singer/guitarist Emma Ruth Rundle has blossomed. The band’s 2012 Kitsune mini-album was the soundtrack to a neon-drenched night-time, wherein Emma’s detached, effects-laden vocals suffused the instrumental ensemble, rarely shifting into focus.
Their debut full-length, perhaps having undergone the natural process of evolution that touring engenders, retains the dreamlike vibe, but on a collection of songs more definite in structure, her rousing performance rises to the forefront.
Psychosexual opener The Liar winds snakelike hips around her breathy dramatics as she teases unashamedly poppy hooks out of her effects-laden guitar. Populating wide-open spaces, the likes of Less Than’s infectious squall is soon torn asunder by massive riffs. The title track, an experimental midpoint where structure surrenders to emotive texture, heralds the record’s gentle decline towards wilting closer Contender.
At times reminiscent of Deftones at their most experimental and Smashing Pumpkins at their most artfully triumphant, Marriages crawl under your skin and stay there, creating a transcendentally seductive dreamscape from which you won’t wish to depart./o:p