Photo by Jeanne RiceJust in time for spring—and with it, countless minutes spent reminiscing spring-fever flings from second semesters gone by—Marzipan's PanoramicEP is a cute, verging-on-sickly sweet bundle of college-aged indie-rock gems, guaranteed to leave you longing for the days when your only priorities were hosting backyard barbecues and finishing Thomas More's Utopiain time for finals. Ushered in by a wave of melodic xylophone vibes and explosive drumming on the disc's opening track, the very Polyvinyl Records-sounding "Wrong," singer Kevin Silverthorne's hushed, presumably unintentionally off-key vocals float over a head-nod-inducing soundscape as he laments, "Laying in bed/Covers over my head/I can't stand to see you like this." Three tracks later, backed by a defeated marching snare and despondent guitar strumming, Silverthorne's vocals again falter while singing lyrics to the Red House Painters-ish "Where Are You?": "Save me/From myself/I was counting on you/To always have my back/Well, I'm back/Where are you?" It's a far cry from the too-practiced, overly confident, blandly serious style of some band that's on, say, its third or fourth incarnation—but still, say, playing to inattentive drunks in an empty Huntington Beach bar—and it works. The trio's earnestness is charming; the songs, rather than poorly sung or undeveloped, radiate an energy typically captured during all-ages coffeehouse shows and spontaneous, parents-away-for-the-weekend keggers. In short, Panoramic is 20 minutes of timeless youth and nave ambition—it is the sound of, well, hope.
Marzipan perform with End User and the Dirtybomb at the Gypsy Lounge, 23600 Rockfield Blvd., Ste. 3A, Lake Forest, (949) 206-9990; www.thegypsylounge.com. Thurs., April 29, 8 p.m. $5-$8. 21+.
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