Life on a Seesaw
Montgomery Drive is Marshall Rones and living on a seesaw is presented as seven heartfelt acoustic ditties that in earnest open windows into the frail psyche of this singer/songwriter. I do not know Mr. Rones but I suspect that he's grown up surrounded by harder styles of music.
There's a certain edge in the poesy of his guitar compositions that are reminiscent of the solo work of Chuck Ragan, Joey Cape and Greg Graffin but certainly more stripped down. Is this a good thing? It is if you're in a mellow mood and want to quietly stare out of a window while it rains.
"Intro" does a good minute's job of setting up the guitar tone for the disc before it opens up with "When I Knew You" which may or may not be about the ignoring of an avoidable death. "Greens and Blues" is a little peppier and the claps and tambourine are muted and welcome.
The "Interlude" is a good midpoint minute of soft guitar for fans of Andres Segovia and folk, if you can wrap around those two meeting under the influence of whiskey. "In Love" is the one cliché you'll find here but it is kind of appropriate since this disc is more a document of Rones' ups and downs than anything else. It's a nice song.
"Kyle's Song" touches on friendship but makes me question the subject matter of the second track, but that might just be me misinterpreting the lyrical work here. Mr. Rones does not strike me like the kind of dude who'd idle by during an emergency.
And I know this because this album was released last month in Japan when he joined Baltimore's Unfair Roots and Japan's S-Explode on a tour of the island nation and donated fifty percent of the tour's profits to the rebuilding effort. That's nice.
"The White of the Pages" is the closer here and it is where he almost loses it, it is the culmination of pouring oneself out on tape and allowing the world to consume one's emotions, so much so that it even turns carnivalesque at the end.
The album will be out physically very soon but it is available on his BandCamp page for five buckaroos right now. Solid release and the cover art's kind of creepy too.