Black Marble A Different Arrangement

Black MarbleA Different Arrangement
At this very moment, Black Marble stand as the latest addition to the emergent dark wave revival. Adding a webby synth-drone to the sulky blueprint laid out by '80s goth heroes Alien Sex Fiend, Foetus and His Name is Alive, these next-gen mope-rockers lean towards contemporary electronic sounds and beat-based structures. That's why A Different Arrangement, the debut LP from Black Marble, sounds as if it emanated from just a bit outside the Matthew Dear/Laurel Halo clique. Divided into almost identically arranged three-and-a-half minute partitions, much of A Different Arrangement comes off rather static and monotonous. Perhaps it's the way Chris Stewart's wine-cellar vocals are strewn through a wanton compression sound, but tracks like "Cruel Summer," "A Great Design" and "Pretender" simply swirl together like a insipid witch's brew. Of course, the album is not without its bright spots, as much of the Brooklyn duo's soundscapes waver somewhere between engaging and downright daring; making A Different Arrangement either the most ironic or optimistically titled album of the year. (Hardly Art)