CD Review: "Young Spillers"


CD: Young Spillers
ARTIST: J Marinelli

There’s something to be said about our own excitement about hearing J Marinelli slightly revamp and re-rock songs he’s already released. Heck, some of our favorite records from the past four or five years are his Stone Age Kicks cover series.

But for fans of the Morgantown native/icon and now Lexington resident’s angry one-man band, even 2010’s Pre-Emptive Skankery Sessions, Marinelli’s most recent 14-song full-length, with some previously released songs remade in salty, surly, or even somber fashion, maybe it’s not so much bittersweet, as it is just not surprising, and just not long enough!

We still love each and every song Marinelli, a veteran of Morgantown bands like The D’arbys, Braille Drivers and Swiss Army Tractor, now playing in Lexington’s Arcane Rifles, has ever released, though.

Marinelli returns in 2012 with his limited (now sold out) three-song, vinyl Young Spillers EP, (Stencil Trash) a release that, at barely five minutes worth of maximum-stomp-and-swing running time, with songs that Marinelli fans young and old will recognize, half serves as a tease, but just as much, reminds you why you love this distinctly Appalachian folk/punk rock rebel.

“Doves and Vultures” and “You Are Dismissed,” both off what we consider to be the definitive and most awesome Marinelli release, 2007’s Keep It Fake, revisit and remind listeners of Marinelli’s righteous indignation at two-faced scenesters and his own determination to “keep Morgantown weird,” even now in his absence, serving as the punk rock consciousness of a scene that he isn’t a part of anymore, one that he embodies with his own DIY ethos and by example.

One of the neat things about following Marinelli since his 2006 debut EP Pity The Party is, not only his own affections for re-recording his songs, but it’s noticing an increasing (?) trend for Marinelli stripping down his own angry one-man band persona and sound. Maybe this was first heard on Stone Age Kicks 2, as Marinelli picked up a banjo and delivered soft, touching renditions of “Head On” and “Wave of Mutilation.” The standout acoustic/harmonica version of “Pomade Years” on PSS is maybe another example of this.

We say all this because when you hear “20 Class A Cigarette Burns,” on the Young Spillers EP, if it sounds exactly like some old acoustic demo might, it’s because this just might be an original demo for the Braille Drivers’ 2001 release White Dwarfs and Red Giants. Great to see Marinelli pulling from that catalog.

Not surprising: that we’d go on for so long about a three-song release.

Also no surprise: we get so much from a dude sitting behind a very minimalist drum kit (kick/snare/hi-hat) with his caveman guitar, banjo, kazoo or harmonica, takin’ it to the shit talkers and solo schlock rockers, keeping his own distinct version of Appalachian folk and punk rock very much dangerous, and anything but fake.

--- Young Spillers is available for free download at the J Marinelli bandcamp page

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