There’s little doubting that bands like the Polyphonic Spree and Arcade Fire have undoubtedly opened up the horizons of independent music in the last few years. However it’s been disappointing that the former proved to only have handful of decent songs whilst the latter appear to have morphed into Bruce Springsteen.
The Second Hand Marching Band are the latest band to try and make the most of that legacy. Boasting a membership to rival the Spree (up to 22 on a clear night) their EP ‘A Dance To Half Death’ suggests that they may just have the songs and the potential to better the Fire.
‘A Dance To Half Death’ is another of these rarities – something from the Inbox that I love. I confess that the heading on the email – ‘Your blog and our songs’ – wasn’t terribly enticing. But when I did get round to it I discovered that this was an email which was worthy of further investigation since I had read about their live shows.
As they say, there’s a strong folk influence on the tunes with a huge battery of acoustic instruments being utilised. And if there is something of a post-rock structure to some of the songs, their real strength lies in the tunes. The title track is particular is a multi-layered and expansive epic with a strong chorus.
I’ve probably just saddled them with unreasonable expectations but have a listen to this and I’m pretty confident you’ll be off looking for one of the remaining copies of the original batch of 100 CDs.
The Second Hand Marching Band – Don’t! (from ‘A Dance To Half Death’ EP) [Buy it]
You can hear the whole EP at their Myspace.