What Gamehedge is to Phish, Bone Crown is to Marah in the Mainsail.
Now, I’m aware that this may incite a lot of rage to the other phans (how dare I compare this indie-rock band to the legendary Phish?!) out there reading this behind their screens. But, as a life long phan myself, this album draws a natural comparison. It’s obvious that these two bands are actually very different – but in no way is that a bad thing. Marah in the Mainsail, based out of Minneapolis, is an alternative rock group that actually reminds me of one of my favorite bands, also dissimilar to Phish, Moon Taxi. MitM is a 5 piece group that features Austin Durry on vocals and guitar, Mariah Mercades on vocals and organ, Kian Dziak on drums, Austin Wilder on percussion, Austin Tang on bass, and John Baumgartner rounding things out on trombone. The 6 of them together are able to cover a variety of genres with their instruments to create an orchestral cinematic feel… which brings me back to Phish. Gamehedge tells an epic story through the medium of music, with added narration between songs. Bone Crown also tells an epic story, with a complete array of sounds ranging from glorious hope to sinister doom. There are 11 tracks that make up this concept album, which illustrate the “Rise and Fall of the Great Fox King.”
The Beginning – This is a slow melodic intro that sets the stage for the main characters of the story – The Great Fox King, and and his advisor, the all-seeing Owl.
Fox Hole – The 2nd song of the album quickly picks things up as it is triumphant and catchy. The lyrics in Fox Hole prepare The King and his woodland creatures for battle against the impending doom of man.
Fisticuffs – Fisticuffs depicts the story of one of a powerful grizzly bear warrior, that eventually gets captured, and eventually escapes. There track features a powerful bridge breakdown – listen below!
Everyone Knows – To me, this song is the anthem of the album. There is a dark beat made up of an ominous bassline and booming trombone, telling the story of the bear’s return to the Dark Woods.
Leviathan – Lead singer Durry displays raw emotion and surprising grace in his voice, contrasting his typically grizzly vocals. This track is a perfectly placed tune of melancholy with tremendous imagery in it’s poetic lyrics. Leviathan portrays the prophecy told from the Owl, a fire destined to burn down the Dark Woods.
Brave Little Buck – Continuing the pace from Leviathan, but shifting the mood to that of a love song, Brave Little Buck is an enticing track that highlights the delightful seduction of vocalist Mariah Mercades, and a flashback to how The Great Fox King planned to get his crown.
The Great Beyond – Seamless transition, yet a sudden shift from luring temptation to a sinister threat. The Great Beyond encapsulates betrayal in every possible sense musically imaginable, including a progressive climax to end the tune. This song also finishes the flashback of the King’s rise.
Bone Crown – Namesake for the album, this one has all of the feels of a cinematic rock opera. Here is a preview:
Black Mamba – A much needed sequel to Bone Crown, Black Mamba is the climax of the album. This track can be played for free on the band’s website, and provides a blend of all the unique elements found in Marah in the Mainsail’s sound.
Ember – Starts the resolution to the story of Bone Crown, Ember has a recurring thick bass line that perpetuates the ear, just like a rekindled flame that refuses to die. The chorus from Bone Crown is perfectly placed and reprised at the end of this song, leading to…
The End – And there’s nothing left but ash. The End sums up the results of the album, which overall is a musical masterpiece.
“Bone Crown” is available NOW! All of the music, lyrics, artwork, and album narration is ready for your pleasure from the bands website at marahinthemainsail.com. Or, download from iTunes. I, for one, am stoked to see where this album leads Marah in the Mainsail in the future. I could very well see this album turn into a Broadway sort of musical, or a short film (the album runs just under 40 minutes in length). Curious to see how it’s performed? Catch Marah in the Mainsail on tour this October:
10/07/17 – Saint Paul, MN | Amsterdam | 7:00PM | 18+
10/11/17 – Chicago, IL | GMan Tavern | 7:00PM | 21+
10/12/17 – Lakewood, OH| The Foundry | 7:00PM | All Ages
10/13/17 – Pittsburgh, PA | Smiling Moose | 10:00PM | 21+
10/14/17 – New York City, NY | Rockwood Music Hall | 11:30PM | 21+
10/15/17 – Philadelphia, PA | The Barbary | 7:00PM | 21+
10/18/17 – Columbus, OH | Fenders – 8:00PM | 18+
10/19/17 – Louisville, KY – Gerstle’s – 8:00PM | 21+
10/20/17 – Indianapolis, IN – Birdy’s Live – 8:00PM | 21+
10/21/17 – Iowa City, IA – Yacht Club – 8:00PM | 21+