At heart a post-punk and psych rock crossover act, Marty Thompson shines on his new EP, My Kind of Woman. The seven-track release is unapologetically retro. Weird and wonderful, glittered with simplistic but well-placed lyrics and a host of mesmerising instrumental performances.
‘Hope is a Waking Dream’ weaves traditional pop chord progressions with psychedelic scales, almost trading temperament bar-by-bar. Stripped to the bone, it’s a pop tune with character and a harmony-laden vocal performance, but Thompson smothers it in zany ornamentation. Unique to say the least.
‘Paint What You Think’ is more raw and straight-forward. Elements of punk, pop, psychobilly, and classic rock are all present. The energy is camp and vibrant, it wouldn’t feel out of place in a rock musical.
Bluesy crooning and splashy guitar leads characterise the title track, ‘My Kind of Woman’. Thompson delivers catchy hooks, but his presence in the song is interspersed, sometimes too distantly. This is not to drag down the funky jams that buffer the sections of the song, but a structural rethink might make this decent track a great one.
Mid-tempo bass grooves and guitars dripping in effects slowly lure the listener in on ‘Lush’. As the jazzy drums kick off a free-spirited jam, overdubbed spoken word from Thompson swishes from speaker to speaker. This piece is something of a mid-EP break and homage to Pink Floyd because of its studio wizardry and psychedelic wash.
‘Patience’ features deeper, wooden vocals in the vein of Ian Curtis, supported by manic sounding twin guitar lines. It’s eerie and addictive, but the song feels half-finished, with much more potential.
Album closer ‘McZebra’ takes on some Zappa-style psychedelic instrumental meandering. Phasers, flangers, synths, twangy guitars playing unusual scales, and plenty of tonal modulation guide this odyssey of a track. It’s alternatively hypnotic, groovy, creepy, and mysterious, but always driving thanks to the core rhythmic input. As with the intro, ambient ocean waves assist the track as it tapers out, drawing a neat conclusion to the EP.
Marty Thompson blends disparate elements of the old guard of rock ‘n’ roll. There’s later-era Beatles, and Pink Floyd, but also The Cramps and Zappa. Although lacking refinement at points, and with a couple of duds, this EP is still an entertaining mish-mash of some of rock ‘n’ roll’s wackier acts.