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"I don’t give a fuck what you think about me
I’m a six-string shooter, it was time for me to leave
Moving up in the world on the downtown line
As the sun sets down on East Coast time."
Marco With Love are an American quartet who formed in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2013. Prior to their formation, each band member was playing in his own local band before the four musicians decided to join forces, encouraged by an undeniable chemistry and a mutual love of Rock ’N’ Roll pioneers from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, including: Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Ramones, Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and, in particular, the band’s “soul brothers”, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The band consists of Marco Argiro (guitar, lead vocals, music, lyrics), Blaine O’Brien (pedal steel guitar, background vocals), Peter Landi (drums, background vocals), and Subodh Samudre (electric bass, occasional harmony).
Marco With Love’s first release, the four-song EP Tidal Wave, kicks off — and kicks ass — with the punchy, powerful title track. The first original composition that the band ever worked on together, Tidal Wave is a hook-filled Power Pop song in the best sense of the word — in the same vein as Nada Surf (think Hi-Speed Soul from 2002’s Let Go) and early ‘90s The Posies — featuring thumping bass, vigorous drums, and an insistent, scorching pedal steel guitar solo that’s to die for. According to main songwriter Marco Argiro, Leave It Behind, another accomplished Power Pop song, is an autobiographical account of his family’s struggles early on in his life: His mother left her hometown in Kentucky, and his father emigrated from Southern Italy, both of them travelling to NYC in search of the “American Dream.” Later on, after living in Florida all of his young life, Marco ended up in the same city as his parents, when he moved to New York. As he says, the song’s about “following your heart, taking chances and not letting other people tell you how to live your life”, a sentiment that most of us can surely relate to.
The third track on the EP is a refined, respectful cover of legendary Texas singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt’s exquisitely atmospheric Folk ballad Waitin’ Around To Die, a dark tale about a guy’s hard-luck life, his abusive father and absent mother, his drifting days, and his drug and alcohol abuse. Marco With Love’s contemporary version stays true to the original arrangement while putting its own spin on a song that has long since become a cult classic. Poor, Young And Gifted, another self-penned track, has a haunting quality to it that lingers on long after Tidal Wave has ended, with its smouldering verses and intense choruses. The EP Tidal Wave shows a lot of promise and bodes well for a prospective full-length debut album.
[In 2015, Marco With Love also released the EP Promised Land, see below.]