The progressive music community is buzzing with the anticipated new CD release by MarsupiaL, one of the most pioneering ensembles to emerge from North Carolina in many years! Defying genre labeling, MarsupiaL's special blend of progressive rock, jam-band, southern roots and jazz transcends any preconceived classification. Mick Skidmore of Relix Magazine explains, "The band operates as a tight-knit family and has a common philosophy of crossing all available musical boundaries. In the past five years, this quartet has created a buzz around the southeast U.S. with an eclectic vision that melds an improv-heavy mix of jazz-rock and progressive rock with superior melodic content". Now with the eminent release of MarsupiaL's fourth CD, 'Genus Thylacinus', on March 24th the band is being touted as "One of the nation's brightest stars in the prog-rock scene."
MarsupiaL features Ian Reardon on guitar and vocals, Forrest Smith on guitar, Brad Mehder on bass and Chris Carter on drums and vocals. Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, several of the members first met while attending Appalachian State University in late 2000. The group eventually relocated to Asheville and quickly became one of the most popular acts in western North Carolina.
"In addition to making a name for itself through powerful live shows, MarsupiaL is quickly earning a reputation as one of the most thoughtful recording artists in the prog-rock field, earning comparisons to national acts such as Umphrey's McGee," says the Mountain Times. "The foursome display an intuitive ability to shift gears from performing complex compositions to enter into innovative improvisational passages." The band's 2006 release 'Curtains' garnered rave reviews worldwide from critics and fans alike, and quickly became a favorite on WNCW's 'Arc Overnight' program. This follows the success of 'Moby Fleck' (2nd CD) at the station, an album that landed in the top 20 regional albums for the year 2006.
Some of Marsupial's influences range from Zappa, Genesis, King Crimson and in the progressive rock scene to jazz, symphonic, Eastern and other non-mainstream styles. "We are also big fans of bands with a large live influence like The Dead, Phish, Allman Brothers, Traffic and Umphrey's McGee," says Brad Mehder, "as well as what's going on in the Chicago underground scene that has generated bands like Tortoise and Isotope 217."
Here's what the music press are saying about MarsupiaL:
"One of the hardest working and certainly most talented bands swimming in the crowded and competitive Asheville music scene pool, MarsupiaL is a nimble crew achieving (and deserving) to explode onto the southern jam seas." Honest Tune Magazine
"With it's third album 'Curtains' MarsupiaL - the kind of band that opens for the likes of Gov't Mule and Ulu and gets press in Relix magazine - proves that jam music needn't be self-absorbed noodling ... there's plenty of diversity..." Sea Of Tranquility
"MarsupiaL's latest album alternately varies from Zappa-esque instrumental tracks to emotional prog-rock, a la Pink Floyd." Mountain Times
"Earlier this year, MarsupiaL released its sophomore studio release 'Moby Fleck'. A follow-up to 'Dancing About Architecture', which was released in 2004. 'Moby Fleck' is a concept album that embodies the band's group approach to creation, one that is as effective within finite song structures as it is careening into orbit. But to peg a label on MarsupiaL would be to short-change the quartet... MarsupiaL's music displays unfettered versatility, whether thay are shaking out a simple rock song or digging in for a mighty sonic adventure." Hittin' The Note Magazine
MarsupiaL's unique writing style in part can be attributed to the total commitment and unified vision of the band. When composing, "Usually someone will bring in a sketch/home demo of a song they wrote," explains Mehder. "The band will then flesh out the initial song skeleton, which ends up sounding different than if that person had recorded it on their own." As far as a concept behind the new CD 'Genus Thylacinus' is concerned, guitarist Smith adds, "We have embraced the concept of simple songs with simple melodies, juxtaposed with longer more prog-ish tunes."
MarsupiaL's 'Genus Thylacinus', released on the band's own label marsupialmusic, will be available through CD Baby, iTunes and the band's official website. In the meantime, the group is performing selected gigs in support of the new CD release as well as writing new material for their next album.
Glass Onyon PR