The Orders of Mariel - CD Review - October 2005
by Armchair Anarchist

First track on CD ‘Redwall’ opens with plucked clean electric guitar over the sound of a distant thunderstorm breaking. Once lulled into a false sense of security, the band scream their way into the main section. It’s all crunchy, like cornflakes that haven’t yet soaked up the milk; nice, wide guitars and tight, snappy drums underpin clean, heartfelt and epic vocal lines that soar above the backing. The breaks and choruses introduce a heavier feel, shouted vocals and chugging chords overlaid with nippy little axe-twiddles. The rhythm section is intricate and precise, holding the tempo down and carrying the song through a prog-ish plethora of parts and sections. This is a smorgasbord of contemporary rock styles, blended carefully with good attention to dynamics, but as an opening track on a CD it suffers slightly from being overlong (6.44). It's successfully epic but not too radio-friendly. Second track, ‘Plastic Moves’ is a little more abbreviated and has less of an overload of different elements. Playing well with the now classic quiet-loud-quiet dynamic, the song moves from almost jazzy guitar lines and intimate, close-miked vocals to a satisfyingly chunky chorus, replete with the forceful delivery demonstrated in ‘Redwall’. A crazed, double-time heavy metal wig-out divides the track in two, to return us to the verse-chorus phase, before going out on a chugging, howled outro. At 4.26, ‘Plastic Moves’ is the more instantly accessible of the tracks and might well have served better as the opener. All in all, great skills in song writing and performance are on display; an admirable level of competence. A little trimming of the material could see Arrowshy becoming a potent force on the local guitar-band circuit.