This debut release opens with a dose of happy Midwestern rock that follows in the tradition of local acts like Marques Bovre and Clear Blue Betty. The fiddle on "Dock Ellis," a song about a pitcher who throws a no-hitter while high on LSD, is full of joyous Irish influences. With all its early talk about beer, baseball and back porches, Why Should I Change? may be the perfect summer companion. But midway through the album, Marvin's Garden takes on darker themes ("Great Big Wonderful Mess") and suddenly sounds angular and psychedelic.
The music's tone hinges on whether Ken Leiser is playing guitar or violin. His violin typically ushers in a celebratory mood, but the band grows more introspective in its absence.
Marvin's Garden is one of Madison's newest bands and, judging from this release, one of its most promising.