Artwork by Rose Turner.
Is Marble Berry Seeds pushing the envelope or just inverting everything we knew about punk? The phrase “indie punk” doesn’t cut it, but their self-titled “bright punk” genre gets a little bit closer. There is some new wave in there, too. But what this band is doing is stripping down punk music to its roots and layering it with color, and life and a sound that is all their own.
Since punk first flourished in the 1970s, the genre has been fundamentally about challenging unfair norms and standards, calling out problematic behavior, and using your frustration to make a statement. It’s not all about teenage angst. So if you take what Marble Berry Seeds is saying, it’s exactly what punk started as.
Take their most recent album, for instance. The Great Millennial Bitchfest is truly an anthem of our generation. It is a Mood TM and you don’t even know it yet. This is the band’s first fully-orchestrated album, but their earlier acoustic works are not to be looked over, either. What is probably the most striking is the poetic nature of their lyrics, especially in “Lone Tree in Hell.” I mean, “like Scarecrow when he meets the Wicked Witch…like the CD in your disk drive when the download is complete…like a Buddhist monk in an act of protest…burn, burn burn.” They’re not afraid to take poetry and pair it with electric guitars and drums, and let me tell you: it works.
I’m selfishly going to shout out my favorite song of theirs, a short acoustic song called “A Plan to Get Even” off one of their earlier albums that screams “senioritis.” From the get go, “I got a growing list of names of the people whose faces I never wanna see again,” it is a brilliantly written song, it could be sarcastic or serious depending on how you look at it, and just a great reflection of the band.
Truly they are becoming one of my favorite bands, and they are seriously being slept on. They’re based in Blacksburg, Virginia, so if you ever get the chance to visit the area, see them live.