The immediate reaction that one has to give after the first track on “What I Came Here For” has to be that Mary-Jane sounds tremendously like LoveOnRelease, who were best known for their single “I’m Afraid of Britney Spears.” A lot of this comparison has to be in the similarities exhibited by the lead singers of both bands; a later track like “Love” really brings the band into something more stable, in that hints of L7 can be heard amongst the smooth vocals and overly-distorted arrangements on the track. Even if the audience is not considered much for “Love” (the distortion really hides any minor blemishes and really decreases any virtuosity that might be there), the fact is that harmonies put forth by Teri will titillate listeners.
The disc’s third track (“Truth”) even goes further back in the sense that Mary-Jane pulls from the Replacements and Face to Face in putting forth a song that has a very positive sound while still eliciting a certain sense of longing. Even though this album is only a fraction of the music that Mary-Jane will eventually put on their “Dissolve to Nothing”, there is a certain sense of camaraderie and cohesion exhibited around these six different songs (the seventh is an “alternative version” of “Love”.) The live version of a track like “Overgrown” really gives listeners faith that the band will not disappoint in the live setting; while the recording may be more muddy, the intensity of Mary-Jane’s sound and the Linda Perry-like croonings of their lead singer maintain their composition regardless of which environment they are in. This album gives listeners a little more than most are expecting from their EPs; at twenty minutes, the fury of a short set really imprints the band on one’s mind much easier than a bloated thirteen or fourteen track “magnum opus”.
“What I Came Here For” is valuable in the sense that listeners will know what the band has to offer in terms of both studio and live music; the only thing that one could conceivably say is missing from this EP is a video of the act. This hard-rocking sound should be able to cross the Atlantic and make it big in the United States not for any reason besides that they are one of the most impressive practicioners of pop-rock in the last decade. Make sure to pick this up and see for yourself why “Dissolve to Nothing” might not be a bad first purchase for 2006.
Top Tracks: Love, What I Came Here For
Mary-Jane – What I Came Here For / 2005 Timeless Music Project / 7 Tracks / http://www.timelessmusicproject.com / Reviewed 10 October 2005