EP Review: The Umbrella Puzzles by The Umbrella Puzzles (2019) (Boring Spaghetti Records)

With a litany of critical acclaim surrounding him from his work with acts such as Sodajerk, The Haircuts, Apple Orchard and Golden Teardrops, you would expect Ryan Marquez’s latest solo project not too disappoint and although you may not be very enlightened, you would be very right.

However, this is Marquez going all Swiss army knife upon his fans and providing a sound that has multiple edges within a musical template that stays largely consistent throughtout the EP (with the obvious exception of the swooning cod-melancholy of the final, Footprints in the Sand, track) but disparate to the Marquez of yore.

For in this EP, Marquez presents an unlikely, alluring and ultimately adroit mix of influences, that should not really mesh together, but nonetheless do so in the most beguiling of ways.

Tracks such as Fountain Coming, Dusty Pages and Somersaulting (see below for the latter two) take the tinny guitar riffs of Bristol bands such as the The Groove Farm/The Flatmates and isolates them in a Dunedin Sound manner, before adding lo-fi laconic intensity to the vocals and general tempo.

It should be a mess. It perhaps sounds a mess..however one listen will make you wonder why no other band has touched upon such originality as yet?

Artist Links: https://theumbrellapuzzles.bandcamp.com/releases


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