Following on from 2015’s fantastic 'This World Is Not Enough', which really cemented Marching Church as a more than just a mere side project of Iceage frontman Elias Rønnenfelt, their new sophomore album 'Telling It Like It Is' contains a more subdued and relaxed sound whilst still retaining the physicality and rawness many have come to know and love. Rønnenfelt’s vocals are undeniably still the stand out feature around which the record's songs are written, but perhaps unsurprisingly due to an increase in membership of Marching Church, there is a more collaborative feel to 'Telling It like It Is', with its multitude of instrumentalists creating an almost orchestral depth in places.
The album opens with the rather menacing Let It Come Down followed by the haunting Up For Days. Heart Of Life is a real highlight, Rønnenfelt’s signature sprawling, chaotic song structure layered amongst his discursive vocals which together create an infectious energy, leaving you wishing the song went on and on. There is an uncompromising lack of filler on this album and each song definitely deserves to be there in its own right; Lion’s Den is a further peak, one which really emphasises the movement towards a more considered, almost restrained approach to songwriting. As the title might suggest, there is a distinct honesty and starkness to many of Rønnenfelt’s lyrics on the album, this transparency owing to the seemingly more focussed approach to writing. 'Telling It Like It Is' is yet another positive step for Rønnenfelt, managing to restrain self-indulgence just enough in order to make Marching Church a solid, flag bearing prospect for the future. I for one am very excited by this album to see just what they will deliver next.
(Words: Nathaniel Wells)