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Leigh Marble

Red Tornado

Laughing Stock Records/In Music We Trust

Leigh Marble, like Bright Eyes, takes the raw lyrical emotion from a penchant for the dark side of life. Red Tornado is a brilliantly perfect example of how the dark side of life can make for a fantastically depressing album.

The album opens on the hard-hitting “Lucky Bastards” with the proclamation that “the American dream I had last night/ Was a bad dream.”

“On Your Way” is like a classic Bright Eyes track even to the point where Marble almost lets his voice warble just like Conor Oberst’s. Marble also adds a killer Western saloon bridge right in the middle of the song with the player piano sound, violin and harmonica added to the already steady guitar-drum backbeat.

“Salt in the Wound” is one of the best tracks about watching what he calls “a number of slow suicide cases I’ve known in Portland. Frustrated artists that forget their beauty and drink themselves to death.” The slower tempo, subtle accordion and Marble’s voice give the song a more contemplative feel and take the listener into the depths of the depression that is felt by these artists. It is a brilliantly accomplished track.

In the same vein, “Baby Ruth” is one of the best songs about cheating with a title that the same as a candy bar. With the chorus “thank you for telling me the truth/ cause that’s not what I expected/ Baby Ruth," Marble shows us his heart and then firmly plants it on his sleeve. He laments about his former lover, “and now you’re at home/ doing God knows what/ with God knows who/ and all I’ve got/ is this ring on a chain/ or a necklace inscribed/ swinging from the rearview/ cause now the score is tied.”

“Get Yours” has an unmistakable hook that reels you into the dark tale of sexual assault and the karma that ensues.

Leigh Marble’s second album is not a sophomore slump, but more of a sophomore start-up. He has set himself up the perfect launching pad for his career. Red Tornado is just the beginning of what should be a storied career, as long as he doesn’t end up with salt in the wound.

Leigh Marble: www.leighmarble.com