Dave Marsh – Herohill


HERO HILL REVIEW -July 24, 2008 : Dave Marsh The True Love Rules

It’s very fitting that the first release of Joel Plaskett’s new label, New Scotland Records, is a musical journey that pays homage to the greats that have influenced us for decades. Joel received critical acclaim for his voyage back to high school and the tales of two friends starting a band and now it seems Emergency drummer and solo artist, Dave Marsh is happy to reminisce as well.

But unlike Joel, Dave isn’t looking back on those formative, awkward, angst filled years (although Backstreets Thread and The Way We Live Today definitely hit on the same era, just without the smiles) through narratives. Instead he plays with the sounds of the musical greats like Bowie, Strummer, Iggy, Bell/Chilton, Davies. It’s easy to see the influence they have on Marsh’s song writing, but with the flourishes from modern peers like Joel Plaskett, Peter Elkas, and Matt Murphy, the mix of old and new helps Marsh’s work evolve into much more than another dusty rehash.

They say you have a lifetime to write your first record and Marsh, who has been playing rock n roll for over two decades, uses his debut as a melting pot for the styles and inspirations he’s picked up on his wild ride. Whether it’s a Bowie-esque melody and delivery on Forsaken By The Beautiful People or the cocksure swagger of The Way We Live Today you can’t help but picture Marsh on stage wearing a huge smile. Consequently, True Love Rules is a perfect retrospective for so many music geeks. Ten years ago, would I have focused on the delicate AM radio undertones on the beautiful I Know Nothing Anymore? Without question the answer is no, but the subtle sunshine grabs my ear as much as the infectious bounce of Darling You, Nothing Else Matters.

Over the course of the fourteen songs, Marsh lets his lover know that “nothing else matters” and admits that no matter what anyone else thinks,”true love rules.” I know he says both in a romantic context, but Marsh could easily be talking about his relationship with music. Being a full time touring artist is a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and often means watching the odometer turn on long drives after tiny club shows in no name towns.

The thing that keeps you going is the music and the need to create and after spinning Marsh’s new record, his love of music can never be questioned. There are no fake messages or trendy effects or layers, and Marsh’s sincerity that shines through. As a result, The True Love Rules is a collection of songs that are fun, deep, diverse and seem like they’ve been always been a crucial part of who you are.