Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mariner Nine - The Shallow End Of The Gene Pool (1996, Meltdown)

Mariner Nine was a fine indie rock band who, despite their Pennsylvania origins, sound to my ears like equal parts Chapel Hill scene (the hooks of Superchunk, the quirkiness of Archers of Loaf or Polvo) and the poppier side of midwest emo (early Promise Ring, Vitreous humor). The band's history can be traced back to the very early 90's when they existed under the name Mother's Garden, before switching to the Mariner Nine moniker in 1994. This here record, The Shallow End of the Gene Pool, was the band's debut full-length as Mariner Nine and was released in 1996. The album was recorded with Gray Matter frontman Geoff Turner, who at that point had built an impressive resume behind the studio boards working with Jawbox, Edsel, The Raymond Brake, New Wet Kojak, among others. Also in 1996, the band appeared on Polyvinyl Records' Direction compilation, along with Braid, Rainer Maria, Boilermaker and other names big in the mid-90's emo world. After this record, the band took a turn into more experimental territory for their second and final release, A Little Something from the Weathervane's Perspective, which was recorded at their own Miner Street studios and released on their own label of the same name. The band split in 1998 when bassist Dave Boyd relocated to California for professional reasons. 

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