Far from the glaring searchlights of the musical intelligentsia, the seed of a daring pop combo lay dormant for decades. Pushed aside in favor of this fresh candy or that stomping flavor of the month, eventually that seed would make its way to the front of the cupboard where light and love worked their magic. Within the confines of this stereo-scopic germination resides the debut album of The Marmalade Army. Allow yourself a feast upon their harvest. Herb Fountainbleu – Sonic Rocks Magazine.
Life is a plum pie ... so get your thumb in there! - Solomon Thistle
The Marmalade Army is a quartet of clever tunesmiths with a talent for writing catchy, swirly hooks. Is it 1967 or 2008? It doesn’t matter, the music’s good. Turn on the Hi Fi, put the headphones on, close your eyes and lay back in your bean bag chair. You’ve waited a long time for this type of band to come along again. If you were ever hopeful that music was supposed to evolve into something soulful, hip and still be fun, then this is the music for you. This is a gift from the Marmalade Army to You! Please enjoy.
Marmalade Army is:
Lumpy Peppermint - Guitars, Vox, Marigolds
Solomon Thistle - Vox, Bluberry Swirlings
Paisley Nash - Bass, Rhubarb
Noddy Nottingham - Drums, Symbols
They Hail from: Liverpool, San Francisco, Hawthorne, Boston, London, Los Angeles, Woodstock or NYC. Depending on which song you are listening to at the time.
Their main influences are:
Preserves, Bubbles, Talking Pastries, Moon Men, Lily Pads, F major 7, Horns of Plenty, Rutabagas, Gorgonzola, Flight 19, Mockapella, Billy Pilgrim, Cirque Du Sowhat, Quisp, Miro, Hepple White, Aldous Huxley, Bartholomew Cubbins, Betty White, Anything by Popiel, Professor Irwin Corey, Shields and Yarnell, Bippies, Jangle, Illya Kuryakin, Jane Asher, Allen Sherman, NY State Thruway is closed, man!
Marmalade Army's sound is straight out of the groovy psychedelic '60s, with swirling keyboards and ringing guitars and melodic pop harmonies. There are, of course, requisite nods to the Beatles and Beach Boys sound, but also tips of the Army hat to such '60s stalwarts as Mike Curb, Small Faces, Herb Alpert and Perez Prado. Check it out if you get a chance, and hey, it wouldn't hurt to buy one as a gift for that old unreconstructed hippie in your life. Throw in a banana to smoke and you'll make his week.
The Generik Brand
Swonderful, Smarvelous, fun ,witty, inventive, makes me feel as if I am being chased down carnaby street, by a gaggle of young lust filled women in multi-coloured mini skirts. This gets the full review rating of five, yes count em 5 gong hits.
Marmalade Army's album Johnny Cake and Moonpies is two-thirds a loving pastiche of the psychedelic era, as you might expect by its psychedelic cover, invoking The Beatles, Doors, Beach Boys and more. Faux psych singles are interspersed with period instrumentals, including one you'd swear was "I Dream of Jeannie". But the other third of the album is pure pop, including at least one track obviously under the influence of XTC. The title track is eminently hummable (otherwise known as an earworm). If you like Two Lips or Greetings From Planet Love, chances are you'll enjoy Johnny Cake and Moonpies. And dig the anachronist guitar solos.
Lovers of swinging sixties pop will not want to miss The Marmalade Army's "Johnny Cake and Moonpies" as it's a loving tribute to the late psychedelic pop era. Sounding a lot like 10cc's Graham Gouldman singing XTC or Andrew Gold's Fraternal Order of The All, it's a really impressive collection of songs. The band member names are a mystery too, some credited as "Lumpy Peppermint" or "Paisley Nash" (A lot like The Dukes of the Stratosphere aka XTC). After a few isolated instrumentals that set the groovy mood, we get the first song "Flower Girl," a sweet baroque ode with nods to Brian Wilson. The next proper song "She's My Dream" work late era Beatles (especially the Harrison-styled guitar) to excellent effect. "Garden Of My Mind" takes the strum of "Tequila" and turns it into a 10cc styled romp. The Beach Boys era tribute cira 1977-era "2BW" (yes, it's really "To Brian Wilson") is a song that would've fit nicely on the BB's "Love You" album. "Welcome to the Love Machine" is one of those crazy instrumentals that mirror the "I Dream of Jeannie" TV theme song. And yes Andy Partridge fans, "I Nearly Walked Into Traffic" is a perfect "Mummer" track with pastoral guitars and melody. Some of the tunes are so light and psyche-sweet, like "Marigold" it would fit fine on The Pillbugs latest album. The title track brings to mind a Pet Sounds session then morphs to a full swirling sunny pop track with Reggae beats and harmonies. A few tracks do feel too underdeveloped though. "It's Raining Again" builds to a wonderful melody and then it ends (I would have loved it go on a bit longer). The end result is a fantastic album, that fans of the bands mentioned above will treasure.
For anybody who still likes to keep at least half-an-ear cocked toward the 1960s, "Johnny Cake and Moonpies" will sound more than vaguely familiar. The part-Boston, part-Fulton studio band never strays far from the sound that keeps that decade alive and well. There's the psychedelic texture of the opener, "Welcome to the Army." There's the vocal harmonies of "She's My Dream." Yeah, yeah, yeah they sound like the Fab Four. There's the "Tequila"-fired melody of "Garden of My Mind." There's the soaring pop of "2BW" that sounds like what it would have been like if the Beach Boys got hold of The Seekers' "Georgy Girl."
"Johnny Cake and Moon Pies" carries this message: dream big and wonderfully about the past, but really, truly believe in the magic of the present.
The Syracuse Post Standard
Speaking of pop confections, here's a band with pastry in its album title (in fact, I'm getting hungry just typing this out). Anyway, this Boston band has baked up a melange of pastoral pop that touches on XTC, Brian Wilson, and many others. "Flower Girl" is a lovely short (1:43) number that captures their sound perfectly, while "She's My Dream" is a charming Beatlesque piece that features a fun whistling outro. Meanwhile, I'll give you three guesses as to who the "BW" is in "2BW" (you'll only need one guess after hearing it), and "Marigold" sounds as if it came off XTC's Oranges & Lemons disc. A nice little sleeper of a disc, but don't listen on an empty stomach.