Today’s Song: Alexis Marshall Presents an Ominous Atmosphere with “Open Mouth”

Alexis Marshall © 2021
Alexis Marshall’s “Open Mouth” is a droning, pummeling, and tense single from his debut solo record ‘House of Lull. House of When’.
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Listen: “Open Mouth” – Alexis Marshall

While not necessarily a household name, Alexis Marshall has long been an active figure in the atmospheres of noise rock, grindcore, post-punk, and even poetics. Since the early years of the new millennium, Marshall has been the frontman for the band Daughters, who, after a nearly decade-long break, released 2018’s You Won’t Get What You Want. This project, which was met with stellar reviews, highlighted the band’s aptitude for noise, atmosphere, and creative direction.

House of Lull. House of When – Alexis Marshall

Since then, and in addition to releasing a collection of poetry, 2020’s “Moving Windows,” Marshall had been gearing up for the release of his solo debut album, House of Lull. House of When, which was released July 23. From this album, Marshall offered “Open Mouth” as the first single.

Young, risen from their wounds
Young, lick the plate clean
Has the rapture come?
Has the Tuesday morning come?

As an artist whose vocal performances have ranged from throttling and shredded to clean and foreboding, lines like “Has the rapture come? Has the Tuesday morning come?” really capture the vibe of the last year and a half. Ominous in atmosphere, much of the song is performed with overlapping vocal tracks, such as the intro and choruses, that are repetitive and despondent by nature delivered in a semi-spoken, semi-recited style. Other lines of dread include “What a time to be alive, what a world they said,” “It’s not the feeling of coming close,” and “They don’t think of it much, they don’t dream when they sleep.”

Musically, the track drones and looms like an abrasive, mechanical music box. For the conventional instrumentation, Marshall makes use of the guitars and drums almost for the specific purpose of beating and jolting the listener; heavy and metallic. As for the less conventional, there is some kind of whistling, be it feedback from a broken amp or a flute being played under the influence, that adds an eerie, unyielding presence to the overall piece.

For all of this track’s intensity, it features a strong composition, excellent performances, and an absorbing, if not, again, intense atmosphere. Alexis Marshall is in strong form on “Open Mouth.” Marshall’s solo debut album, House of Lull. House of When is out now by way of Sargent House Records.

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Listen: “Open Mouth” – Alexis Marshall

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