It's almost disturbing how well Ultra Dolphins are able to homogenize a wide array of styles and distill them into a sound that, while eclectically varied and colorful, still has a cohesive string of consciousness throughout it. A step-up in terms of attention span and instrumental ability from their past outing; "Mar" is an aggressive lo-fi oddity, remaining staunchly lean and aggressive as the meat of the songs is skewed by bony spikes of angular whimsy.
While listening to "Mar" it's not hard to appreciate the improvements the band have made. The concentration they now steadily exert allows melodies to flourish and fuzzed out jagged slabs of riffing to reach maturity before being pummeled by a combative breakdown or soothed by a delicate melody. Electronics, piano and what even sounds like an accordion are all brought onboard to make a creative mess of things, but even with the spastic outlook, the band for the most part avoid entering the petulant lunacy of like-minded stalwarts, The Locust and The Blood Brothers.
But that's not to say there isn't a spiritual kinship of sorts with acts like those mentioned above. Ultra Dolphins definitely do plot a similar course, it's just they take the time to see the sights and aren't afraid to bring back some rather tacky souvenirs that oddly don't feel all that out of place when the band smash them to pieces.
As vivid as the groups music may be though, it does suffer from a constant state of uneasiness and lack of layers that will be more than a bit grating to some. But even so, these dolphins still possess a surprising amount of intelligence when compared against the other fish in their corner of the sea.
(3.5 / 5)