“See It Too” By Marbled Eye
Marbled Eye includes Chris Natividad vocals/guitar) and Michael Lucero vocals/guitar, the artists met in the San Francisco punk scene, where they bonded over music, skateboarding, and their shared Filipino heritage. Upon Natividad’s move to Oakland, the two soon fell in with drummer Alex Shen and bassist Andrew Oswald, and Marbled Eye began. so far Marble Eye have released 2016’s EP I and 2017’s EP II, the band honed their uniquely claustrophobic post-punk sound, and with their 2018 debut album, Leisure, they seemed poised to break out. Then 2020 and its many challenges arrived. Covid isolated the band members from one another, their momentum was halted, and eventually other parts of life began to take focus as the years began to pile up. In 2022, Oswald departed the band, leaving them down a member and without the person who had recorded all of their prior releases. But Marbled Eye regrouped, pulled in Ronnie Portugal on bass, and at long last they dove into making a new album.
“Andrew had a studio and produced everything, so when he left the band, we didn’t know what we were going to do,” explains Natividad. “We had learned a lot of recording techniques from him and after demoing some of the tracks ourselves, we decided we were going to move forward with the DIY route.” Trusting their instincts, the group recorded nearly all of their new material in various bedrooms and practice spaces across Oakland, only stepping into the studio when Chaz Bear lent them his space for knocking out the drum tracks. Grace Coleman (Different Fur Studios) mixed the record and Greg Obis (Deeper, Slow Pulp) (Chicago Mastering Service) mastered, and after all the setbacks, all the tinkering, and all the years, Read the Air was finally complete.
Tapping into a vein of modern post-punk that’s often imported from the likes of Manchester or Melbourne, Read The Air is simultaneously the most aggressive and catchiest music Marbled Eye have made to date. “We wanted to have a wider variety of songs, sounds, and tones of this record,” explains Natividad. “While there’s certainly the classic Marbled Eye monotone-vocal-over-droning-guitars thing, we tried to introduce some other elements, tempos, and melodies into the mix.” Lucero adds, “We all grew up on various strains of guitar music, dance, and hip hop, I guess when you smash all these things together, the common denominator is there’s always gotta be a hard-driving rhythm and a visceral intensity that people can hopefully latch onto–no matter how it’s manifested sonically.”
On closer “Spring Exit,” the band offers something of a mission statement: “wasted time and wasted youth / and we’re on the brink.” It’s not exactly a rallying cry, but for Marbled Eye there’s a strange determination, a desire to stare into oblivion but not to give in to it. There is no perfect human trajectory, there is only life and all of its ups and downs–the complications and frustrations, and the patience required to wade through them. “Clearly it’s an understatement to say some time has elapsed since our last full-length,” Lucero admits. “It took awhile, but I appreciate quality over quantity anyways.”
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