New Band of the Day #46: Marlon Brando Island

marlon brando island

Double A-side, ‘A Troubled Past’/’True Heroes’, is out now.

Who: Marcus Fulcher (Vocals, Guitar), Edd Thrope (Bass), Marco Testa-Ryan (Drums, Backing Vocals).

What:  Post-punk. (FFO: The National, Future Islands, Mission of Burma)

Where: London, England.

Why:  It’s a reasonably fun coincidence that London trio Marlon Brando Island, with their curious meld of alt/post-punk/pop, should come across my desk this morning as I was only watching On The Waterfront last night. That’s the Elia Kazan film for which Brando won his first Oscar for all you heathens out there.

Like Brando the actor, Marlon Brando Island are an impassioned, intense, and arresting proposition. Combining the sparse musical propulsion of a band like Mission of Burma or Gang of Four with the intensity of a singer like Samuel T. Herring with the gravelly delivery of Matt Berninger, the trio are a cathartic and emotional combination.

What follows might sound like an insult, but I assure you it is anything but one. Is it just me or does singer Marcus Fulcher kind of sound like a young David Gray? Now, I’m not talking about the maudlin balladeer, but the fiercely angry and impassioned David Gray that existed prior to White Ladder. The heart on his sleeve, blood letting singer/songwriter who wrote the open tuned ‘Shine’, the wonderfully angry ‘What Are You’, and the anti-music industry diatribe ‘Sell, Sell, Sell’.

Essentially my point here is that Fulcher is a singer that leaves nothing on the table. One can imagine that each performance is conducted with a commitment as if that performance will be his last. Somehow tightly wound and unhinged and savage at the same time.

Download for free now via Bandcamp.

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