Marrow, Al Scorch | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Marrow, Al Scorch Recommended 18+ Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Nov. 27, 9 p.m. 2015

Local indie-rock outfit Marrow are a talented bunch, as those who were hooked on the genre-busting band Kids These Days should know—three of Marrow’s four members played in the sprawling group as teenagers. The bloat and stylistic indecision that hampered Kids These Days’ material seep into Marrow’s debut, September’s The Gold Standard (Foxhall), but fortunately the venture isn’t all a slog—the embers of pop prowess catch fire once the band selects a direction. Marrow’s successes come when they check their ambition for the sake of mood and traverse the road laid out by aughties indie-rock outfits who share their earnest appreciation for bygone soft rock (never forget that Grizzly Bear once enlisted Michael McDonald to sing on a remix of “While You Wait for the Others”). When keyboardist, guitarist, and vocalist Macie Stewart takes the lead on “Cities,” her lustrous, tender vocals guide the track from its somber beginning to its growling peak. The stylistic breadth of The Gold Standard should benefit this show—but at the very least it makes the odd pairing with roots-loving opener Al Scorch feel less unorthodox. The recent Bloodshot Records signee plays folky bluegrass with a fiery punk spirit, which is nicely documented in a live recording with his Country Soul Ensemble, May’s Live at the Spirit Store. Scorch speeds through songs with charismatic aplomb, one about seeking self-validation, another about a mystery pill provided by a stranger. “If you want to move some of those tables and dance,” Scorch urges the audience at his set in Dundalk, Ireland, “just knock ’em over—I mean, stack them gently on top of each other and place them against the wall.” I can only hope holiday revelers at Lincoln Hall will act accordingly.

Leor Galil

Price: $15

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