Words: Georgina Daniels
Photos: Ashley Evans
Thursday night at The Lexington was one for the history books. Having already sold out three months ago, a ticket to Maruja was valid currency in the DIY music scene.
Ripping through a non-stop tour, these guys are too busy sending shockwaves to catch their breath and take stock of what is unfolding for vocalist & guitarist Harry, drummer Jacob, saxophonist Joe, and bassist Matt.
This four piece racket (in the best way possible) have totally torn up the rule books and written their own code. All four members deserve recognition for a rife and raucous performance, with sounds and spoken words that resonated in the deepest parts of our collective stomachs.
Stand-out song of the set ‘Zeitgeist’ induced a sort of panicked clamouring to pounce with just one repeating note, and summed up through name and sound just how powerful this project is turning out to be.
Their newly released ‘One Hand Behind the Devil’ also shook the floor with pumping beats and bass, sermon-like vocals, and soared to new heights in the saxophone. It was a dizzying battle track that surely raised the adrenaline levels of everybody in the room.
The crowd were utterly blown away by the pace at which Maruja came and went in just over an hour, touting industrial noise rock blended with angry poetic vocals. Each member had their own spotlight to let loose and go nuts, which encouraged the audience to do the exact same. Drummer Jacob was transfixing and never let up the energy necessary to deliver the band’s message; his complex drum fills jaggedly collided with Harry’s rhythmic musings filled with pent-up rage and anger. Bassist Matt demanded to be heard through the noise with sounds that reverberated across the entire body, and, cut through with the chaos of Joe’s sax, sent every song into a thrilling joyride that once finished, left the audience begging to be taken for a spin again.
A small yet satisfying detail of the performance occurred when the four became three for a matter of mere minutes whilst a broken guitar string was tended to. The band didn’t even flinch! The unforeseen interlude felt so seamless, one would think that the string was cut on purpose. The band’s war paint daubed on their faces was also a nice touch in bringing the audience closer to the Maruja experience.
In short, holy heck! Maruja left me utterly transfixed. They are a band that demand your full attention and leave you with whiplash to get over ready for the next battering. They have just announced a headline show at Camden’s jewel-in-the-crown venue The Underworld, which is unmissable, so get your tickets now!
For fans of IDLES, The Prodigy, Black Country, New Road, Death Grips, Black Midi and Brand New (times by 100), Maruja must reach your ears, eyes and internal organs immediately.