The Crack And What It Meant is the new 30-track album from Cardiff’s Quiet Marauder. 30 songs is brief compared to their debut MEN which had 111 songs on it. Billed as an 'anti- War of the Worlds' album, it shares a lot with Jeff Wayne’s '70s concept album. Lo-fi folk and indie tunes tell the story of a mysterious crack in spacetime that appears in Kent and the reaction of local and the mass media.
The music wavers from twee parody to grandiose arrangements of great seriousness and ambition and the lyrics follow suit. It’s a creative and unique approach and Quiet Marauder make it work. The songs are interspersed with Richard Burton-esque expository narration from The Burning Hell’s Mathias Kom. His North American voice adds credence and gravitas to the unfolding tale. From Costa Coffee opening a branch at the Crack and musings on the plot of Lost to Rothschilds and Trump capitalising on the public panic, the story mixes social commentary and sci-fi philosophising with pop culture references and punk pathetique observations.
The album is punctuated by reports from fictional TV news reporter Morson Welles, and the perspectives of eyewitnesses, viewers and pop culture personalities are all heard amid the ominous tones of Kom. One ponders how “This would make a great episode of Doctor Who” while another encourages the discoverer of the crack to sell his story to BBC news.
For a work of such lofty aspiration The Crack And What It Meant is light, breezy, and charming. While singles like ‘The Discovery’ and ‘What Happened To Science?’ function perfectly well in isolation, most of this LP wouldn’t work in a shuffled playlist. At a time when the very existence of the music album is being called into question by both major label bands and underground acts, it’s encouraging to hear something that demands to be played through in order.
You can pre-order The Crack And What It Meant here