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Death of Marat

Death of Marat is a Glendale, Arizona trio which plays a heady and challenging kind of indie rock, one that suggests both the dark clatter of the more pessimistic early '80s New Wave bands and the angry complexity of post-punk hardcore groups like Fugazi. There are a lot of layers here for a three-person outfit: a kind of gothic stilt, a rebellious vitality, an ominous nervousness. These shades of color and feeling are articulated by spiraling, squalling guitars, tumbling, disastrous drums, and rambling steam-of-consciousness vocals that sound like the warnings of an anxious harbinger of doom and despair. Apparently these guys aren't cheered by the hot Arizona sunshine, conscious as they seem to be of the constant danger lurking in the shade.

These guys, incidentally, are bassist John Brandon, guitarist Michael Juliano, and drummer/vocalist Jef Wright. Juliano and Wright originally played together under the name Mars Observer Mission before adopting the Death of Marat moniker after the famous French Revolution painting by Jacques-Louis David. In 1999 they asked Brandon to be their bassist. Soon after the trio released a self-titled seven-inch and before long followed with their 2000 debut LP, the dark and furious The Shattered.

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