Most songs are definitely on the dark side, but not without dynamic bass lines and guitar riffs that make the drunken grandmas get up and dance, as was the regular scene at their former CF venue, the Blue Room. Annual stints at Mother Nature’s Ball put them in the ranks of the Gglitch and Lick It Ticket, fellow Eastern Iowa favorites. And with influences like Primus, Tool, and Buckethead, it’s no surprise that their shows frequently involve creepy masks.


Their first show at Hull Avenue Tavern last month came with quite the fanfare, making a good handful of new fans. A soccer mom at the bar proclaimed, “And they don’t even sing!”


It’s true. Vocals were short-lived in the life of Marls, but fortunately the songs are able to stand on their own. Funky bass and fierce guitar seem to be the magic combination for the majority of their songs. It could be argued that their sound is attributed to the slightly sociopathic tendencies of guitarist (and former vocalist) Mike Hangartner, who declined to comment.


“All the best musicians are a little psychotic, right?” reasons bassist Cory Wendel. Truer words were never spoken.


Bottom line: If you enjoy good rock music you can bop to, try them out. Watch for more shows after their first album is recorded next month.