Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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Johnny Marples - The Nu Signs EP |self-released, 2013|
01. The Nu Signs, 02. Parasite (No Balls), 03. We R 1, 04. Shut The Fuck Up, 05. Of Murder And You
If you haven't heard about Johnny Marples yet, it's time to look into his music as there's something heavy awaiting your attention.
This project was founded in Germany in 2008. Musically, it has been inspired by one of the last few significant music genres meaning Nu metal. Moreover, its founder used to be a drummer in various metalcore and deathcore bands before he decided to start recording his own music as Johnny Marples. The Nu Signs
which was released in April 2013 is his debut.
The intro for "The Nu Signs" song may sound quiet but it's only an innocent pass into a massive mix of low tuned crunchy guitar riffs and haunting soundscapes. Guitars and drums in "Parasite" build the overall rhythm which is thankfully neither static nor too repetitive. The choruses bring a bit of a melody but they are kept on a heavy level, regardless. "We R 1" sounds fiery with a dark heavy background enhanced with highly pitched lead riffs. "Shut The Fuck Up" brings psychedelic guitar riffs, repetitive choruses, oppressive moods and loads of weight you won't be able to ignore, assuming you like metal music.
The final song "Of Murder And You" initially sounds somewhat lighter thanks to the lead riff but rest assured - the track remains as aggressive and relentless as others on the tracklist. The ending will show you how it may feel inside an overburdened head.
All the compositions are quite short but sound solid. They are rather loosely based on the traditional verse-chorus-verse concept, as if Johnny Marples didn't like routine. There's raw power which will touch those of you who have a revolting spirit and love for hardcore music. Songs are structured in a complex and knotty way, so they require responsive ears and brains. This music needs 100% of your attention. Johnny Marples doesn’t try to fit into melodic nu metal compositions, but instead brings anger, aggression and dominance known from death metal or hardcore. The transitions between the songs are smooth enough to allow for easy progression.
On The Nu Signs
EP you’ll find frank, straightforward lyrics with an aggressive attitude. The band questions and examines the weak points in many topics such as the music scene, abusive friendship, alienation, misunderstandings or sexual frustrations. There's a definite call for change, for seeing things as they are and for switching one's perspective. In addition, the lyrics are spiced up with a lot of cussing but we're talking about metal music here, so you should know what to expect.
As for the downsides, the lead singer may consider using his whole vocal range to a larger extent, which could allow him to improve his performance, as it would shift listeners' attention towards his truly powerful songs. He has a good voice, matching any heavy genres and his screams and growls are well executed. However, he drops the tune when a part of the song requires singing slowly with tonal changes (e.g. in "Parasite" or "Of Murder And You"). Neglectful spoken vocals is a method utilized in nu metal music but it’s a problem for many male singers (as well as for women attempting to switch smoothly to lower tones).
When you deeply study various discographies you may notice the first releases of many bands usually sound powerful, energetic, but they’re still rough. Quite often, they bring many new ideas and earn an 'iconic' status, eventually. In some cases, many bands are not satisfied with their debuts due to technical reasons. The Nu Signs
EP is a release that opens many possibilities for Johnny Marples. Honestly, it's sometime hard to believe there's only one man behind the project. Not only did he compose the songs, play all the instruments, write the lyrics and do the vocals, but he also mixed, mastered and produced the entire EP on his own. What the band needs now is the support of true fans. Are you willing to be one of them?
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, July 1st, 2013. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)
Buy on: Bandcamp