Johnny Marr’s Crazy Face studio sounds like a great place, an old warehouse, somewhere in the Mancunian suburbs, its industrialist past now given way to a creative future. It’s where, during the last year, Marr’s album ‘Fever Dreams Pts 1 – 4’ has taken shape. Most of the song writing was done by just Marr on his own, although you can’t help thinking that the building itself and its concrete expansiveness has lent a hand, as there’s more of an electronic element running through the album, more dystopian, enhanced by machinery, yet it’s still undeniably Johnny Marr. Although Marr has been writing in his studio for several years, the guitar riffs are as beautifully written as ever, yet this time around combined with more synths and electronic drums cutting a glorious undercurrent of pulsating rhythms and melodies.

‘Spirit Power And Soul’ races along with a huge anthemic chorus yet there’s also more of an electronic vibe with synths keeping a steady riff to accompany Marr’s guitar work. There’s a slightly melancholic yet intriguing feel to some of the tracks on here. Huge sounding riffs that also somehow manage to evoke a sense of mystery “Dreaming endlessly, another way tomorrow, believing in sensory” Marr sings on ‘All These Days’, whereas ‘Tenement Time’ is a brilliantly uplifting guitar led tune.

Marr manages to push his song writing into new realms with each album, from the powerfully huge sounding riffs of 2014’s ‘Playland’ to the vibrant electro topped ‘Fever Dreams Pt 1-4’. After being a collaborator on so many amazing albums, from The Smiths to Modest Mouse and The Cribs, Marr’s solo work is now finding him rightfully recognised as a brilliant songwriter too. 

Johnny Marr: Fever Dreams Pts 1-4 – Out Now (BMG)


From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.