Los Angeles band Margate are no newbies to music, the band itself formed in 2003 and the members learning the art of making good honest music with other bands years before, but the energy and excitement the band bring with their new release Rock ‘n Roll Reserve puts many a new pup on the block to shame. The trio obviously well versed in the art of rock ‘n’ roll have never lost going by the EP, the reason for making music and what it should bring to the listener, fun!
Margate, really they should be an English band with that name, bring an attitude and sound that is joyful, melodic and distinctly punk in flavour, almost promiscuous at times. They also add a pop element but hone it to neatly fall between the over age adolescent shenanigans of a Bowling For Soup or the more terse middle finger attitude of a Rise Against. To be honest Margate do not make a stance with anything new or groundbreaking but they make a definite mark with music that is well written, arranged, and then delivered, bringing a smile to the face and heart without resorting to gag music or lyrics. The trio may not break down new doors of sound but they more than lead the way with what they do produce, a sound that appeals to every aspect and fan of punk, pop, and rock music.
Rock ‘n Roll Reserve was recorded with engineer/producer and former Death By Stereo bassist Paul Miner, also known for his accomplished studio work with the likes of New Found Glory, Atreyu and Thrice. He mixed Margate’s previously critically acclaimed full length album On the Other Side in 2009, an experience so positive the band were determined to work with him again for the EP.
Margate consisting of Steve Weil on bass, Doug Mitchell on guitar and Alex Helbig on drums and lead vocals, is a unit tight and instinctively creative as Rock ‘n Roll Reserve shows. The first track to show its wares and their quality is ‘Control’, a Bad Religion flavoured track with inviting riffs and a guitar solo that plays effortlessly in the ear. A confident and high-energy song that shows intense matters need not be slammed into the listener to be effective.
Before actually listening to the EP a decision to ignore the next track was virtually taken, a track that instils a feeling of apathy each time heard here at the RR centre. Hands up though, with reluctance and respect for the band it was played and it has to be admitted Margate has delivered a version of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ that is admirable and…..ok admittedly enjoyable. Actually it even made, like most of the tracks on the release, voices join in with Helbig and the backing harmonies of Weil and Mitchell. Sad but true.
The Costello (a band also featuring Mitchell) cover ‘Live It Up’ is a straight forward rock song which satisfies without leaving a lasting mark but the three remaining songs certainly make up for it. ‘Lovesick’ a cover of the Madcap tune, is a power pop punk joy, inviting and engaging melodies and pop hooks play like a mix of Jimmy Eats World and The Police over urgent riffs and rhythms, making foot tapping obligatory. The best track on the EP ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Reserve’ flies out the gates with insurgent riffs and a bassline to drool over. Like Green Day meets Civ the song is irresistible, anthemic, and simply what punk is all about. Closing track ‘This Road’ is a more subdued but no less intense track, with echoes of The Urgencyin its more emotive tones.
Rock ‘n Roll Reserve is to hit town September 12th via Room57Records and if there is one release you go out of your way to find and party with, the new EP from Margate is it. They show and make rock ‘n’ roll the way it is meant to be, and then some.