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Cole Marquis | Treasure Island Serenade (Devil In The Woods / Amazing Grease)
Cole Marquis has a recorded history of some sixteen years, debuting with acclaimed San Francisco Psyche-Pop outfit 28th Day, on the groovy Enigma label in 1985. Today, he records with his band Snowmen and, as here, 'solo'. Inverted commas in place there, because the band on this album is Snowmen to a snowman - confusing, but Marquis' the boss, so what the hey! The problem with Treasure Island Serenade is that, whilst mournful music is both of these times and invading the mainstream because of it, there is just so much better than this. As devotees of my ramblings will have gathered, I like it dark and desperate, but if there's one thing it must also possess for me, it's melody. And that's where this album falls down. I have listened to Treasure Island Serenade three times from first to last note in order to present objective copy, and find it difficult - for once - to summon words beyond 'dreary', 'soporific', 'drone' and 'sloth'. There may be Marquis / Snowmen / whatever fanatics reading who consider this blasphemy: I challenge any gauntlet thrown for he or she to find anything remotely interesting about this album beyond the song title Shutting Off Niagara Falls. And that's only of amusement because it drums up images of one fucker of a tap.

Tom Sheriff
June-July 2001