Marshall Holland – And The Etceteras (2014)

San Francisco Bay Area resident Marshall Holland’s previous offerings, Don’t Jettison The Memories and Statistically I Should Say … established him as a serious talent to be reckoned with. Here on his third recording, And The Etceteras (TuneCore Digital), the critically praised singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist lives up to his glowing reputation and then some, as he knocks out missives hooky and potent enough to dwell in your head for eternity.

Governed by rivers of ringing riffs and rippling rhythms, “Oh Please” and “Take Me” showcase Marshall’s grand gift for producing perfectly-realized pop fare. Lucid and casual vocals, matched by pristine textures lashing against firm arrangements serve these tracks well, where “The Key Of The Sea” weighs in as a moody and beautiful instrumental.

Mixing pop sensibilities with a rocking edge, “At 65″ and the shimmering static cling of “Radio Style,” which confronts the bland and boring mindset of contemporary radio, draw accolades as additional charmers included on the album. But the entire disc is a million-watt marvel, piloted by smartly stated lyrics that are right in sync with the clean and polished melodies glued tight within the grooves.

Self-contained and confident, And The Etceteras has everything working in its favor, from high quality songwriting to dense and disciplined performances. Not an ounce of fat penetrates the material, as the tunes are kept neat and trim. Sounding like a clever cross between the Zombies and Crowded House, with touches of the E-Types, the Cyrkle, and Shoes thrown in for good measure, And The Etceteras adeptly blends vintage pop procedures with a delivery that rests in the present. An excellent collection of songs this is, crafted by a fellow who knows what he is doing and does it with class and care.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" hit No. 4 on the national charts, which is ironically, one of her favorite songs - especially the version by John Lennon. She has contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Her own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.