11 tracks / 45:03
The Marius Tilly Band is a trio that draws inspiration from the hard blues-rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and blends these sounds with modern songwriting structures and lyrics. Based out of Dortmund, Germany, the members of this young band are Marius Tilly on vocals and guitar, Benjamin Oppermann on bass, and Maximilian Wastl on drums. Come Together is their sophomore effort, following up on their very good debut, Blues Colors, Red Lights. The new album’s eleven original tracks clock in at a touch over 45 minutes, and during that time a lot of musical ground is covered.
Though the content is mostly amplified and rock-based like the opener, “Believe,” there is also some nice acoustic blues to be found on this disc. “Fly” is a lovely traveling blues song with a bit of a Delta feel thanks to Tilly’s resonator guitar and howling lyrics, and “Far Away” builds with layers of guitars and textures as it sets a somber mood to close out the disc. It should be noted that through these guys are from overseas, all of the words are in English. These lyrics are quite good, and are not presented with the awkward syntax and feel that sometimes result when songs are sung outside of the vocalist’s native language. By the way, the CD includes a book of lyrics, which is a cool touch that has become quite uncommon in recent years.
Their blues work is good, but blues-rock is where the Marius Tilly band really shines. Two songs in particular, “Headaches” and “Skin’s Electric,” have a majestic infusion of funk that make them the standout tracks on Come Together. It does not hurt that both songs are very well written and the backline of Opperman and Wastl are innovative and extremely tight. Combining these elements with Tilly’s strong guitars and vocals makes these tracks a fine listening experience.
Their more conventional blues-rock songs are also solid, and like the rest of the songs on the album they are radio-friendly. “Hold On” features throaty vocals that double up with the guitar at times, which is strikingly effective and musical. Also, “Water Falls” features some lovely Hammond work from guest artist Artur Kuhfub that adds another layer of complexity to the band’s sound. There are not any two songs that sound alike here!
The trio even throws down a few pop tunes that are quite good. “Elevator Girl” is a high-energy song with heavy drums and wah pedal -infused guitar that includes some cool call and response from Wastl and Oppermann on the chorus. “Take Off” has almost the polar opposite feel, with a moody feel that is brought out by heavily processed 1980s style guitars that are processed with an abundance of delay and reverb. The final product ends up being like a mash-up of INXS and U2, if that makes any sense to the Generation X readers out there.
Come Together is a solid effort from the Marius Tilly Band with healthy servings of accessible rock, pop and blues music. Their unique sound is very likeable, and their live shows are chock full of contagious energy. Unfortunately they are only touring Europe right now, so American fans will have to make do with listening to their CDs and viewing their YouTube videos until someone starts paying attention and gets them to come to a festival here in the states.