Agitated Atmosphere: The Marshmallow Staircase – Terror de Lune

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as The Marshmallow Staircase.

In the infinite recesses of psychedelia, there exists a vacuum where the sounds of the past are only appropriated as newer acts fear being fingered as relics; nostalgia acts afraid of technology, electronics, and the future. This bleak, hopeless realm swallows any bands eager to tip their caps to their forefathers without reinventing the wheel as the download generation happily ignores them for the hottest fad. Blame it on the proliferation of voices in the form of media-centric blogs or on the laziness of a generation weaned on A.D.D. gizmos, it doesn’t matter when you’re pointing finger but never listening yourself.

Scranton’s The Marshmallow Staircase (all Michael Scott jokes aside) do not fear these nasty repercussions. Terror de Lune, released by venerable smallie Summersteps, embraces the dusty placenta of psychedelia’s rainbow birth—infusing it not with the latest technology but the latest societal pulse. As the title suggests, the album is heavy on the fear factor; an acid trip through time not unlike the infamous Gene Wilder Willy Wonka warp. The album is heavy on the black, washing out the color spectrum with a cold blood pass of the scythe. Terror de Lune pulsates with dirty sexuality, obscuring the drug-addled joy of the past with a hazy pall of sin. It’s the embodiment of B-movie vamp, never fearing a bit of ambiguity and blood in the absence of happiness.

Listen to “Highway Snuff Bubble”:

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This shunning of modern convenience emboldens the album with a sinister tone. The masochistic vocals and metal riffs that slowly swallow the album like a tab of LSD take a journey not even Timothy Leary could predict. It’s these dark places, away from the prying eyes of everyman critics and early tech adopters that Terror de Lune finds its own shimmer, though it glows with the ebon eyes of the beast of opulence. Succumbing to your Linda Lovelace fantasies is what Terror de Lune is all about and fearing that primal beast tucked deep within; keeping it at bay with mantras of modern convenience will do nothing to quell The Marshmallow Staircase from revealing your true self.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who also runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up for the KEXP Blog. You may follow him on Twitter.

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